The Benefits of Pediatric Partial Denture for Kids

pediatric partial denture

Dealing with children’s missing teeth? A pediatric partial denture can help. Also known as a “Pediatric Partial” or “Pedi Partials” for short — pediatric partial dentures are designed specially for young smiles. These devices replace lost teeth and ensure proper mouth development and speech while securing the space for permanent teeth.

This guide covers what you need to know about pediatric partial dentures, including types, necessity, and advantages, to make informed decisions for your child’s oral health.

Key Takeaways

  • Pediatric partial dentures are specially designed temporary solutions for children aged 2-8 to replace missing teeth, maintain proper spacing for permanent teeth, and avoid further dental issues.

  • The process of obtaining pediatric partial dentures involves an assessment by a pediatric dentist, customization to ensure a good fit and comfort, and regular follow-ups for maintenance and adjustments as the child grows.

  • Despite potential challenges like initial discomfort and the need for diligent cleaning, pediatric partials offer significant benefits including aiding in speech and chewing functions and improving self-confidence with a natural-looking smile.

Understanding Pediatric Partial Dentures

pediatric partial

Pediatric partial dentures, or pedi partials as they’re commonly referred to, are designed to replace missing teeth in children aged 2-8. Unlike adult partials, these dentures are simpler, less expensive, and temporary. They only need to last until the child’s permanent teeth come in, which is when permanent adult teeth begin to erupt and replace secondary adult dentition. These temporary dentures are a perfect solution to bridge the gap until permanent teeth emerge.

The materials used to make pedi partials are also child-friendly. Constructed from acrylic materials, some designs incorporate metal components to simplify fitting and replacement. This thoughtful design ensures that your young one will not experience discomfort while wearing these dentures.

Types of Pediatric Partials

Two types of pediatric partials exist: removable and fixed. They are often made from acrylic material, with metal parts incorporated to provide additional structure and secure positioning in the child’s mouth. The removable type provides a flexible option for kids, allowing for easy removal and placement. However, this type requires greater responsibility to avoid misplacement.

On the other hand, fixed pediatric partials, such as those secured with metal bands, serve as a durable, space-maintaining solution. These are especially suitable for very young kids until their child’s existing permanent teeth emerge. Regardless of the type, pediatric partials can replace two to four front teeth and act as space maintainers, playing an essential role in helping to maintain teeth spacing for the emergence of permanent adult teeth.

When Are Pediatric Partials Needed?

Various reasons could necessitate the use of pediatric partials in children. For instance, tooth loss due to decay or trauma often necessitates the use of these dentures. Some children are also born with dental anomalies, such as malformed or missing teeth due to congenital reasons or genetic factors. In such cases, pediatric partials may be needed.

In addition, pediatric partial dentures can also be indicated in cases of infection and inflammation in children’s gums. These dentures not only help in replacing missing teeth but also maintain the correct spacing for the permanent teeth to come in. This helps prevent other dental issues down the line.

The Process of Obtaining Pediatric Partial Dentures

pediatric partial

Obtaining pediatric partial dentures for a child involves careful planning, customization, and collaboration between the pediatric dentist, dental laboratory, and parents. The process begins with a comprehensive dental examination, which includes X-rays, impressions, and digital scans of the child’s mouth. This helps assess the need for prosthetics and the appropriate treatment approach for a child’s dental care.

The next step is customization and fitting, which ensures a comfortable fit and function for the child. This involves:

  1. Creating a personalized treatment plan tailored to the child’s oral anatomy and the number of missing teeth.

  2. Carefully placing the dentures in the child’s mouth.

  3. Making necessary adjustments to check for comfort, bite function, and speech clarity.

Evaluation and Consultation

The initial evaluation for pediatric partial dentures is a crucial step in the process. This includes a comprehensive dental examination, X-rays, impressions, and digital scans of the child’s mouth to assess the need for the prosthetics. During the consultation, the pediatric dentist assesses the condition of the child’s remaining teeth, gum health, and overall dental structure. This helps determine the suitability of pediatric partial dentures for the child.

This evaluation is essential for the dentist to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for a child’s dental care. It can potentially lead to a tailored, customized treatment plan that caters to the unique needs of the child.

Customization and Fitting

The customization of pediatric partial dentures necessitates precision. It involves:

  1. Creating a personalized treatment plan tailored to the child’s oral anatomy and the number of missing teeth

  2. Ensuring a comfortable fit and function

  3. Taking accurate impressions of the child’s mouth

  4. Bite registration to ensure proper alignment

The fitting appointment is an important step in the process. During this appointment, the pediatric partial dentures are carefully placed in the child’s mouth. Necessary adjustments are made to check for comfort, bite function, and speech clarity, ensuring optimal use of the prosthesis. Thanks to innovations in dental technology, the wait time for these custom-fitted dental prosthetics can be significantly reduced with in-house fabricators.

Maintenance and Adjustments

Regular visits to the dentist are recommended to:

  • Ensure a comfortable fit of pediatric partial dentures

  • Allow for necessary adjustments as the child grows

  • Monitor the condition of pediatric partial dentures

  • Assess the child’s overall oral health and dental development

These periodic follow-ups are essential for maintaining the effectiveness and functionality of pediatric partial dentures.

Parents should instruct children on brushing the pediatric partial dentures by following these steps:

  1. Brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristled denture brush.

  2. Use a specialized cleaning solution to clean the dentures.

  3. Carefully brush around the appliance, despite potential mild bleeding or discomfort, to reduce gum inflammation and prevent bacterial buildup.

Maintaining oral hygiene is important for the health of a child’s mouth, including their gums, keeping the dentures clean, and taking care of only the milk teeth.

Benefits of Pediatric Partial Dentures

pediatric partial

Pediatric partial dentures offer numerous benefits, making them a great investment in your child’s dental health. Here are some of the benefits:

  • They assist in the development of proper speech and chewing functions.

  • They maintain space for permanent teeth to erupt correctly, acting as permanent teeth aids.

  • They help your child communicate more effectively.

  • They allow your child to enjoy a wide variety of foods that they may miss out on due to missing teeth.

Beyond these functional benefits, pediatric partial dentures also have psychological benefits. With the use of these dentures, children experience enhanced self-confidence and an improved quality of life due to the restoration of a natural-looking smile. So, not only do these dentures help with your child’s dental health, but they also help boost their self-esteem.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

pediatric partial

Despite the myriad benefits of pediatric partial dentures, they might also present certain challenges. However, with proper guidance and solutions, these challenges can be overcome. For instance, initial discomfort with pediatric partial dentures can be quite normal. It can include feelings of pressure and an adjustment period. To alleviate this discomfort, rinsing the mouth with salt water and using over-the-counter pain relief medication can be effective.

Another challenge is the care and cleaning of the dentures. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Dentures should be brushed with medium-length bristles, ensuring to clean the entire denture, not just the teeth.

  2. It’s important to brush daily to remove food deposits and plaque.

  3. When not worn, dentures should be stored in water or a suitable denture-soaking solution to prevent warping and to maintain hygiene.

Initial Discomfort

Initial discomfort with pediatric partial dentures is normal and can include feelings of pressure and an adjustment period. This discomfort is often a result of the new sensation of wearing dentures. However, children can adapt more quickly to this new sensation by:

  • wearing the dentures as much as possible during the day

  • gradually increasing the amount of time they wear the dentures

  • practicing speaking and eating with the dentures in

  • using a denture adhesive to improve comfort and stability

With time and practice, the discomfort will subside and the child will become more comfortable wearing their dentures.

To alleviate initial discomfort, rinsing the mouth with salt water and using over-the-counter pain relief medication can be effective. However, persistent pain or bleeding should be reported to the dentist, who can make adjustments to the pediatric partial dentures to improve comfort and provide a suitable dental solution.

Care and Cleaning

Proper care and cleaning are crucial in maintaining the durability and effectiveness of pediatric partial dentures. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Dentures should be brushed with medium-length bristles, ensuring to clean the entire denture, not just the teeth.

  2. It’s important to brush daily to remove food deposits and plaque.

  3. A brush designed for cleaning dentures is preferred for its fit to the denture shape, but a soft-bristled toothbrush is also acceptable.

  4. Non-abrasive cleaning solutions like hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid should be used.

When not worn, dentures should be stored in water or a suitable denture-soaking solution to prevent warping and to maintain hygiene. Denture cleansers should not be ingested, and after using any cleanser, the denture should be thoroughly rinsed before being put back into the child’s mouth.

Cost Factors and Insurance Coverage

pediatric partial

The cost of pediatric partial dentures can differ significantly based on:

  • The type of materials used

  • The number of teeth to be replaced

  • Their location in the mouth

  • The method of creation

However, dental insurance policies often provide restorative coverage that typically covers up to 50% of the cost of procedures like dentures. Patients are generally responsible for deductibles and co-payments.

Insurance plans usually have annual coverage caps and may include waiting periods for new patients, which can limit the coverage available for dentures within a given year. But there’s a silver lining. Families who need further financial support might have access to assistance programs, and discount dental plans can provide savings on procedures by offering fixed prices and negotiated discounts.

Choosing the Right Pediatric Dentist

The selection of a suitable pediatric dentist for your child is as important as the provision of dental care. Pediatric dentists receive additional training beyond dental school focusing on the specific dental needs of children, such as behavior management, oral development, and child psychology. When selecting a pediatric dentist for a child with special needs or conditions like ectodermal dysplasia, it is crucial to ensure they can provide tailored care and have relevant experience with pediatric partial dentures.

To find a well-suited pediatric dental clinic, consider the following steps:

  1. Research certified pediatric dentists with extensive experience.

  2. Consider clinic proximity for accessibility.

  3. Gather recommendations or read online reviews from other parents.

  4. Schedule a consultation or clinic visit to ensure the dentist is receptive to learning about specific conditions, has a positive approach, and uses effective treatment methods.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your child will feel comfortable and receive the best care at the pediatric dental clinic.


In conclusion, pediatric partial dentures provide a valuable solution for children who have lost teeth early due to decay, trauma, or congenital issues. These custom-crafted temporary dental solutions, available in fixed and removable types, help maintain proper oral development, enhance speech and chewing functions, and boost self-confidence in children. While there may be initial discomfort or challenges in care and cleaning, these can be overcome with the right approach. It’s also essential to choose a pediatric dentist who has experience with these dentures and offers a comfortable and positive environment for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pediatric partials worth it?

Yes, pediatric partials are worth it as they restore age-appropriate facial look, contribute to proper jaw and tissue development, and have dietary benefits for children. They enable children to chew certain foods and receive the necessary nutrition for good health.

Do pediatric partials hurt?

Some pressure may be felt when pediatric partials are cemented on, but over time children tend to adapt and no longer feel discomfort.

Do they make fake teeth for kids?

Yes, pediatric partial dentures are customized to fit a child’s mouth and are made with acrylic materials, and some may include metal for strength. They are a tooth replacement option for kids.

When are pediatric partial dentures needed?

Pediatric partial dentures are needed when children experience tooth loss from decay, trauma, or dental anomalies due to congenital or genetic factors. It’s important to address these issues to ensure proper dental development.

What are the potential challenges of using pediatric partial dentures, and how can they be overcome?

Using pediatric partial dentures may initially cause discomfort, but this can be alleviated with saltwater rinses and over-the-counter medication. Additionally, proper care such as daily brushing with a denture brush and non-abrasive cleaning solution can mitigate potential challenges.

Looking for a gentle pediatric dentist in Baltimore?

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