13 13 96

Level 1,
Manchester Unity Building, 220 Collins St, Melbourne

What are the different types of dentures (partial vs full vs implant retained, metal vs plastic)?

what are the different types of dentures partial vs full vs implant retained metal vs plastic

A denture is a removable prosthetic device used to replace missing teeth and associated gum loss. Dentures are also known by other names – such as false teeth, plates or flippers. Dentures can be either partial (replacing one or more teeth) or full (replacing all teeth in one jaw or both jaws).

What are the different types of partial denture?

Partial dentures can be made from one of three different materials: acrylic, metal or flexible resin.

Acrylic partial denture

Acrylic is a rigid resin material. In dental prosthetics it is pink for the base and gums and tooth-coloured for the replacement teeth. The partial denture is often held in the mouth through the use of metal clasps which grip onto surrounding natural teeth. When in place, the metal is partially or fully covered by your lips.

Metal partial denture

This is a denture with a metal base, usually made of an alloy containing cobalt and chrome. The portion of the denture used to replace the gums is made of pink acrylic material (as above), and the part used to replace teeth is tooth-coloured (as above). Metal clasps are usually attached to the metal base. A major advantage of using metal for the base is the ability to make it both thin and strong. Another design advantage over acrylic dentures is the provision of greater support, which minimises impact on your existing teeth.

Flexible partial denture

This is also pink in colour, but is made using a flexible resin which can facilitate insertion into the mouth. It comes with clasps, which may be made out of the same pink flexible material. Flexible dentures usually do not last as long as acrylic or metal dentures but they may be a useful option for some patients.

What are some other types of denture?

Full denture

A full denture is a pink acrylic denture that replaces all of the teeth in one jaw or both jaws. This means that the denture rests on your gums and does not use clasps. For some patients, full dentures may need to be held in place with adhesive. Full dentures can be made either to look like an ideal dentition or to mimic your natural teeth. A little time is usually required to get used to eating and speaking with them.


An over-denture is a denture that is made to fit over existing teeth or roots, or over dental implants. An advantage of over-dentures over full dentures is that the teeth or implants act as a secure anchor.

Immediate denture

An immediate denture is one that is prepared in advance of tooth extraction, then placed on the same day as the extraction procedure. This ensures that the patient does not spend any time without teeth. However, the immediate denture cannot fit as accurately as a denture made after teeth have been extracted. It can sometimes be made to fit well with adjustments, but in most cases it is used as a temporary denture, with a new one being made several months later.

Further information

While dentures are one method of replacing teeth, other options exist – such as bridges and implants.

For further information, please call Smile Solutions on 13 13 96.

COVID-19 Information