Partial Dentures

What Exactly is A Partial Denture?

A partial denture is a plate that has one or more false teeth fixed on to it made of plastic, or metal and plastic. Both types will be fixed by clasps or clips that attach the plate to existing teeth on a gum coloured base. The clips and clasps may show when you smile. A fixed bridge replaces one or more teeth. It does this by being placed on each side of a missing tooth with a crown in the middle ‘bridging‘ the gap where it is cemented in place. A precision partial denture that can be removed has internal attachments instead of clasps and clips for a more natural appearance.

Why is it important to replace missing teeth?

One important reason will be your appearance. Another reason is that more strain is put on the teeth alongside the missing tooth if there is nothing there to replace it. Hygiene is another reason.

How can missing teeth be replaced?

It will depend on how many teeth are missing and their location in the mouth. The actual condition of your teeth will also have an impact on what can be done. There are several different ways in which teeth can be replaced.

  • Removable false teeth - a partial/full denture
  • A fixed bridge
  • Dental implants

How do dentures that are made of metal differ from ones made of plastic?

Partial dentures made of plastic are cheaper to make than metal ones. However unless they are very well designed there is the chance that they might damage the teeth they rest against. An alloy of chromium and Cobalt is used for metal partial dentures and they will be much stronger. Although these partials are made of metal they have gum and tooth coloured components to make them look natural and will cost more than plastic braces.

How do I know what would suit me better?

The dental team that you see will advise you on this, according to their findings on examination.

Is it possible to have a bridge fitted right after a tooth extraction?

Because it can take up to 6 months for the gum to heal properly after a tooth has been extracted, a temporary denture will be fitted first before the bridge.

What is the best way to care for my denture?

In general the advice is that you should brush, soak and then brush again. You should always clean your denture over water because it could break if it falls on a hard floor. Bushing before you soak helps to dislodge any trapped bits of food. A fizzy denture will help to remove stains from your dentures and will make them feel fresh. Finally brush the dentures again with toothpaste and a small to medium toothbrush. Make sure that you clean all the surfaces of the denture. This is something that is more important if you are using a dental fixative with your dentures. Any stubborn staining can be dealt with by your dentist.

Is it a good idea to take my denture out at night?

Your dental team will probably recommend that you take the denture out at night so that your mouth has a chance to rest. If you do take it out make sure that it is always left in water so that it does not dry out and crack.

Is there an alternative to a partial denture?

The two main alternatives will be a fixed denture or dental implants. A crown will be made in the laboratory and fixed over the gap in between missing teeth. This is a permanent addition and cannot be removed. An adhesive bridge is another type of bridge that has wings that will be bonded to the back of the teeth supporting it with only very minimal drilling needed.


These are teeth that are fixed into the jawbone and behave the most like natural teeth. This is the most expensive option but the most durable and the most natural replacement for lost teeth. It is important with this option to make sure that the remaining teeth are cared for well.

Are there any other ways that false teeth can be fixed?

A combination of partial denture and crowns can be used to keep retaining clasps and clips out of view. These kinds of dentures are specialised, so ask your dentist about them if you think they might be of interest to you.


At Dentists Near Me we have lists of dental professionals who will be happy to help, at locations near you.