What Are The Best Types Of Partial Dentures?

types of partial dentures
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Hello there! So are you finding yourself in need of some partial dentures as a complete solution or until you can get implants or a crown? If so then you are likely wondering what the best types of partial dentures available might be. Well, wonder no more! We’ve done a little research on the subject and we’d be happy to fill you with a partial denture information deluge. Let’s start with the types and we will move on from there to give you an informative look at the world of partial dentures!

Kinds of partial dentures

There are many types of partial dentures out there which you can choose from. Which are the best dentures, though? Well, that is going to depend on the specifics of what you need. The location of the tooth or teeth, the durability required, the materials involved. Here is a list of the more popular options to give you an idea of what is out there for you!

  • Flippers – These are also known as ‘acrylic removable partial dentures’, flippers can often be made within minutes! These are actually the most affordable of the lot but also much less durable than the others. These are great if you are waiting on a crown to be made but they can also be used alone for a time. They are easily removable and you can function normally, speaking and chewing alike, with these.
  • Cast metal dentures – Attached via clamps to crowns, these sport a solid metal framework and the ‘teeth’ are made of acrylic. The metal frame is invisible but the clamps may be noticeable when you smile.
  • Flexible partials – Created for minor corrections for those allergic to metal and/or acrylic , these are made from a thin plastic material that is heat sensitive and secured by gum-colored clasps. The clasps reside between other teeth in a natural spacing pattern. These are considered temporary, like flippers, though a set may be worn for many years.
  • Fixed bridge – If you only need one or two teeth replaced and the rest are quite healthy, then the fixed bridge partials may be a good fit for you. As the name suggests, these are not removable, but rather they are fixed in place and may be brushed and cleaned along with your regular teeth. These are also secured via crowns, with the replacement teeth(called pontics) set in between the crowns. The downside is that to install the crowns, healthy teeth will need to be ground down a bit for the fitting, but these are still a very popular option.
  • Fixed bridge for implants -This method is preferable if you are missing a larger number of teeth. Like a fixed bridge, a permanent support is installed, but in this case dental implants are installed into the bridge, affixed to titanium posts. This option can actually replace an entire arch of teeth so for those who have lost many teeth this is going to be the optimal way to go to avoid full, removable dentures.

How are dentures made?

best partial dentures
jarmoluk / Pixabay

When you go into the office to be fitted for dentures, the dentist will make a mold of your existing teeth, upper and lower, in order to calculate proper alignment and best practice options for your new set of dentures. If flippers, as mentioned before, you can often have them made right away. For other kinds, you will likely have flippers made anyway so that you can wear them until the new dentures have been made in a lab. Plastic partial dentures can be fabricated quickly but others may take a week or two.

What happens then?

Once your new dentures have arrived, there may still be more time involved. Your dentist will want you to try them for wear, to ensure there is no irritation, slippage, or other complications. If there are any problems, the dentist will take some more measurements and get them back to the lab. While it is slightly inconvenient, you want to make sure that the fit is perfect and your dentist will be more than happy to work with you on this.

Potential pitfalls with your new partial dentures

While you will soon get used to them, there are a few more tips that we would advise for those of you who are new to the world of partial dentures. Things to keep in mind:

  • Pain – Initial pain and discomfort can be expected for the first few days. It will take that long to get used to them but after this, you should hardly notice it when they are in.

“This option can actually replace an entire arch of teeth.”

  • Poor fit – If your dentures are sliding around a lot you should speak with your dentist right away. If you ignore the issue, they can abrade your gums and food can get trapped in them, potentially leading to a fungal infection(yuck!). On that note, our next entry…
  • Don’t forget cleaning – Follow the recommended cleaning steps that your dentist provides. Aside from the danger of a fungal infection, dentures that are not cleaned properly can develop an odor and give you bad breath. Take care of them and this will not be an issue!
kinds of partial dentures
Bru-nO / Pixabay

Cleaning your partial dentures

Depending on the type that you have, there may be further special instructions that you will need to follow. In general, rinsing after every meal is a good idea. Also, if you are using an electric toothbrush, make sure to change your brushes at the recommended times and be sure that your brushes are soft and compatible with dentures.


The best partial dentures available are the ones that we have listed. Which you choose will depend on your personal needs, but all of the ones that we have listed are good. Top or bottom partials, one or two teeth partials, your dentist will know which are best and help you to make an informed choice. We hope that you enjoy your new dentures!