Partial Dentures

A partial denture is the simplest and easiest option for filling a gap left by a missing tooth. The replacement tooth is connected to an acrylic or metal base and kept in place by clasps that hook around surrounding teeth.

A partial denture is removable and needs to be cleaned after every meal. Ideally, it should also be taken out before you go to sleep. As the palate is covered to an extent by the denture, it affects taste and speech for the first weekend to a month until you adjust to it.

An acrylic or plastic denture is usually used as a temporary measure just after tooth extraction, to be replaced by a metal denture within four to six months. Plastic dentures are much thicker than metal ones, and so can be more uncomfortable. They can also damage your gums and even cause decay if they aren’t kept clean! However, it’s much easier to add teeth to plastic dentures if you lose more of your own teeth.

A metal denture is the prosthesis of choice. Much thinner than an acrylic denture, it’s also much stronger, and makes it easier to eat, sense temperature changes and feel more of your food. A metal denture can last up to ten years but may need to be re-lined every two to five years as the shape of your mouth changes.

Making both types of dentures involves taking a number of molds of the mouth and bite, producing ‘try-in’ versions if necessary, and finally constructing the dentures for insertion. This takes between four to six weeks.

Once the dentures are in use, you may find there are some sore spots and you need to drop in and have the dentures adjusted slightly.