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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3446
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 37 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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I have a patient that has been edentulous in his upper arch

Customer Question

I have a patient that has been edentulous in his upper arch for many years. After having lost his lower 4 incisors, his sister convinced him to have a lower partial made. When we began taking impressions, he brought in 2 very old upper dentures and one old ill-fitting metal based partial. I showed him an example of a lower flexible partial and as he noted the thinness of it he wondered if the upper could be made in the same material. I hadn't even read your answer before you came on the screen. Possible to do? Pros and cons?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 2 years ago.
Welcome .I will do my best to answer your question.I am not a great typist,be patient and feel free to ask if anything is unclear.Flexible partials in my opinion are a disservice to any patient.The natural teeth are not flexible and the teeth in the mouth are designed to be firm.A flexible partial is just a disaster waiting to happen.During the chewing process the partial bends and the base of it moves and flexes while eating.This type of movement will eventually take its toll on the TMJ.The idea is good and they look great but they do not conform to the function that they are supposed to conform to.They are great for temporary purposes and aesthetics but as for function,these partials do not provide the proper support for chewing.If the patient is on a pure liquid or soft diet,that would be an exception.In any other case, the prosthetic device should be firm and not flex.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 2 years ago.
It is possible though to use a thinner acrylic without being flexible.The problem is that they are much more prone to fracture.Did I answer your question or is there something that I am missing about your inquiry?