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FAQ:  Denture Partials

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Upper partial: Before I received my upper partial, my dentist modified my healthy upper tooth by grinding away some of the enamel so the metal clasp can rest on that tooth.

Why does that have to be done? He didn?t do it to the other side and now my healthy tooth now hurts!

So should he repair that tooth with a composite filling so I don?t have any future serious problems with this once healthy tooth? .... Visitor from Georgia

Basic partials typically incorporate a clasping system that attaches the partial to existing teeth that offers the best stabilization possible. Due to the thickness of the metal clasp, the adjacent tooth (where clasp attaches) is prepared, often with a groove, that achieves the best attachment.

Thin enamel however, for some patients, can cause sensitivity issues. In your treatment situation however, the decision to prepare only one clasping surface may intensify the preception of clasping pain. Applying bonding material would likely reduce the space needed for a clasp to function normally.

Popular treatment alternatives would include the use of dental implants or the use of a "clasp-less" denture partial. Valplast is yet another claspless treatment alternative.

Editorial Staff

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