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Types of Dentures

There is a famous saying among dentists regarding dentures; Dentures are not a replacement for teeth, they are a replacement for no teeth. So, if you are thinking about dentures but still have good teeth left in our mouth, this page is not for you.  Saving teeth is always the best option. If you are looking for true tooth replacement options, consider implants or bridges. 

If you have no teeth or no good teeth left, then the information below will be valuable in helping you understand life with a denture.

There are two types of dentures that a person can have, partial dentures and full dentures. A partial denture requires sound teeth that are used as anchors for the denture.  A full denture is for patients without any remaining teeth.

Partial Dentures

There are many different types of partial dentures.  Thy can be made out of metal/acrylic, all acrylic or  a flexible plastic material. The photo below is a metal/acrylic partial and used to be the only type of partial denture available. Metal partials have the advantage of lasting for a long time.  Unfortunately, the teeth they anchor to usually break under the stress of the metal clasps.  For this reason, these kinds of partial dentures are becoming less frequently used.

 More recent innovations in dental materials have resulted in the addition of metal free and flexible partial dentures like those pictured below. These types of partial dentures or much more gentle to the anchor teeth resulting in a lower incidence of anchor tooth fracture.  In addition, they are lighter in weight and much more comfortable than their metal counterparts.  The down side is that they cannot be lined or repaired.  This means that any shrinkage to your jaw bone or accidents involving the denture will likely result in the need for a brand new denture.