Patients know what’s wrong with metal partial dentures
Patients with metal partial dentures can tell you exactly what’s wrong with them. “They feel heavy, they taste bad, and patients feel like they can’t clean them,” says Marcello Allegra, director of sales and marketing for Jason J. Kim Dental Aesthetics. “They feel like it doesn’t belong in their mouth. Also, it wears their teeth down.”
Dentists find that patient compliance can be problematic, largely because metal partial dentures hurt. The clasps can injure interior cheeks and gingiva. The torquing of metal can pull on healthy teeth, causing pain in the mouth and jaw. And old-fashioned metal partial dentures have a metallic taste that can make eating less pleasant; also, food tends to get caught underneath. Patients get fed up with the hassle and pain. The solution for many is to remove their metal partial dentures, and leave them out.
Patients expect a metal-free alternative
Patients are aware of metal allergies and many are concerned about health hazards. They’re beginning to expect a metal-free alternative when they sit down in the dentist chair. “Metal-free is the movement in dentistry,” says Lee Gause, DDS. “Metal partials with hooks are torquing those teeth out of the mouth. They’re very unfriendly to the oral environment.” “We don’t have shiny strips of metal anywhere in our body naturally,” says Gause. “Let’s address what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to replace a body part. Whenever we can replace it with something that closely resembles the original, in terms of appearance, the way it feels, the way it looks, the way the person perceives it, then we get a huge psychological advantage.”
Metal-free can be better for patients, more efficient for dentists
Metal, the longtime standard for manufacturing, is harder to work with, more time-consuming and more labor-intensive than the newer, biocompatible options that patients want. “There are many steps along the way that can lead to inaccuracies,” says Alan Banks, marketing director of ROE Dental Lab. “Just broken-arm casting or hand waxing or a person surveying a model. You’ll find many laboratories in America don’t make metal partial dentures any more. They outsource them.” This means the dirty, often inaccurate science of making metal partial dentures is often conducted by third-party manufacturers – companies you don’t know or do business with. When it comes to RPDs metal is more error-prone from beginning to end, with small miscalculations in the manufacture that can lead to multiple return visits, adjustments and complications in the individual patient.
The alternative to metal partial dentures? Ultaire® AKP
Solvay – one of the world’s leading suppliers of healthcare polymers – has created Ultaire® AKP, a revolutionary new polymer for removable partial dentures. Removable partial dentures made with Ultaire® AKP are lightweight, biocompatible and free of metallic taste. They’re smooth and natural-looking. Just ask the patients who actually wear them. They report being able to eat, speak and smile with ease.