A group of friends in their forties are in a vineyard, dining al fresco, and they are all smiling, but you can't tell which one is wearing a type of partial denture.

Types of Partial Dentures

2 minutes to read

Posted: Mar 14, 2021

Thanks to partial dentures, you no longer have to go around with a gap in your teeth following a tooth extraction! Yet, with so many types of partial dentures out there, you may be left scratching your head over the difference between an acrylic removable partial denture and a flexible partial. If you need a partial denture, then which one is the right one for you? We’re here to decode partial dentures for you by giving you a round-up of the different types out there, from removable to fixed partials, so we can help you understand the world of partial dentures better.

Removable Partial Dentures

Cast Metal Framework Removable Partial Dentures

The most common type of partial, is the cast metal framework removable denture that supports high-quality replacement teeth and uses precision attachments to improve aesthetics. This is usually made from a light metal alloy like Cobalt chromium.

Plastic Partial Dentures

These new types of partial dentures are made from state of the art injection-moulded impact resistant materials some wearers may find more comfortable.

Acrylic Clasp Removable Partial Dentures

This type of partial denture has removable acrylic flippers and is the least expensive out of the partial dentures. However, the lower price does come with a few drawbacks. This kind of partial denture is less optimal, as the acrylic clasps are less effective than the cast metal. Some may not find its “bulky” shape very attractive or comfortable, which is why this partial is generally considered a temporary solution.

Flexible Partial Denture

If you’re allergic to acrylic, then a flexible partial denture may be a good alternative for you. Its other benefits include the fact that it’s really comfortable and the gum-coloured clasps make it less noticeable. However, these benefits come at a cost, as it is more expensive when compared to other partial dentures. This type of denture is also thought of as a temporary option.

Fixed Partial Dentures

Fixed Bridge

For people missing one or two teeth, the fixed bridge could be the right solution. You can think of this as a permanent partial, as it always remains in the mouth, so you won’t need to take it out. However, the main disadvantage of a fixed bridge is the surrounding healthy teeth must be filed down and prepared to accept the crowns to support it.

Implant-supported Fixed Bridge

If you are missing teeth or you prefer not to damage any existing teeth, then the implant-supported fixed bridge could also work for you. This type of dental implant uses small posts made of biocompatible titanium and are permanently placed in your mouth. Although this procedure is expensive when you get it done, it’s a good investment because this can last for life, and won’t come with the durability issue you may encounter with removable partials.

An infographic showing the types of partial dentures: Type 1: Cast metal clasp removable partial dentures Type 2: Acrylic clasp removable partial dentures Type 3: Flexible partial denture Type 4: Fixed bridge Type 5: Implant-supported fixed bridge

Frequently Asked Questions About The Types Of Partials

What does a partial denture look like?

A removable partial denture will look like a full denture, except for the part of the teeth it’s replacing. You’ll have the gum-coloured plastic base and the false teeth. You might see the metal or plastic framework that holds the denture in place, and the clasps.

What is a flexible partial denture?

A flexible denture adapts around the shape of the gums and teeth when inserted. These can be used when it’s difficult to insert a standard plastic or metal clasp denture.

What are the best partial dentures to get?

It really depends on what you need from a denture, plus your budget. Discuss your options with your dentist.

What is the difference between a flipper and a partial?

Dental flippers act as a temporary filler for a gap in the teeth, while a partial is made to replace any missing teeth.

Should you need a partial denture and you’re not sure what kind you need, talk to your dentist to find the best option for your needs, budget, and the condition of your teeth. Your dentist can recommend the right partial denture for you so you can get on with life as usual.