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Understanding the Different Types of Dentures Available

For those who have lost some or all of their natural teeth at any stage in life, dentures can play a key role in restoring smiles, oral functionality, and confidence.  

Dentures are removable or ‘false’ teeth (usually made from nylon, acrylic, or metal), which fit snugly over a wearer’s gums to replace missing teeth and alleviate any potential complications caused by gaps.  

As a removable dental appliance used by people of all ages across the globe, it’s no surprise that dentures can come in many forms to fulfil a range of purposes.  

Different denture types can serve a range of specific dental needs and preferences, so understanding the variations on offer will be hugely beneficial in helping you find the right fit for your smile.  

Which types of dentures are available? 

Research published by the Oral Health Foundation found that approximately 19% of people – almost 1 in 5 – wear some form of denture. As an essential part of oral function, speech, and daily life for so many, there are many different types of dentures on the market today.  

While your dentist or Clinical Dental Technician (CDT) may be able to recommend or specify a denture type that will work for you, understanding the most common denture types will give you a clearer idea of what to expect as you begin to wear yours.  

There are many types and varieties when it comes to denture styles – however, they will typically fall into one of two main classes – partial dentures and full dentures.  

Partial Dentures 

A ‘partial’ denture will typically be used to fill the gaps left by only one or a few missing teeth and can be fastened to the adjacent natural teeth with metal fixtures or ‘precision attachments.  

A partial denture will usually be composed of a plastic, nylon, or metal plate, with one or several artificial teeth attached to it. These can easily be unclipped and removed, so are ideal for daily wear.  

One similar alternative to partial dentures is fixed dental bridges, which are made by applying crowns to the natural teeth on either side of a gap, and placing a false tooth where the missing natural tooth would be.  

However, fixed bridges are not always the best option – they typically can only be used if a patient has some strong natural teeth remaining, with good bone support.  

Your dental healthcare specialist will be able to advise on whether a partial denture – or a fixed dental bridge – is the right choice for you. 

Full Dentures 

Full or ‘complete’ dentures will usually be fitted if either of your entire top or bottom row of teeth have been removed – or you’re replacing an earlier set of full dentures. Full dentures are commonly designed to be worn as a complete set; fitting snugly and comfortably over your gums and jawbone.  

Keep in mind that if you have a set of complete dentures fitted immediately after the removal of several teeth, the shape and structure of your gums and jawbone can change, so your dental specialist may recommend having them relined – or even remade – to fit comfortably in the long term.  

In some cases, you can go straight to a clinical dental technician to have your dentures made and fitted. This means that a qualified clinical dental technician can consult and supply a full set of dentures directly, without the client needing to see a dentist beforehand.  

Note that you must continue to receive regular check-ups from your general dentist or dental healthcare practitioner, as these are the key to preserving and protecting your overall oral health.  

Other Variations 

Beyond the main two classes, there are various other denture types which may be suitable for you. These are typically differentiated by their application, and you may have to meet several physical requirements for a CDT to recommend them.  

Depending on the health and condition of your teeth and gums, you may even find that a contemporary approach is right for you.  

Examples of alternative denture types can include implant dentures and suction dentures.  

Implant dentures are a simple concept, which involve securing individual false teeth to the gums with dental implants. These can be an excellent solution if you are concerned about traditional dentures becoming slack or ill-fitted. 

If implant dentures aren’t an option for you (whether based on oral condition or simple preference), suction dentures can offer a practical alternative. Whereas implant dentures involve having artificial teeth inserted via implants, suction dentures are sculpted from a patient’s dental impressions, and are held in place by an atmospheric vacuum which is created when they are inserted and worn – hence their ‘suction’ title. 

Where can I find high-quality dentures?  

Once you are familiar with the two main classes of dentures, you can begin to consider the distinctive style and application options on the market.  

A good quality denture clinic will have a skilled team of experienced Clinical Dental Technicians (CDTs) on hand, who can advise and recommend the right type of denture for you, based on several factors including oral health, teeth and gum condition, bone strength, lifestyle, etc.  

First Class Dentures offer certified, professional denture services to patients from our UK denture clinics in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. After completing a comprehensive dental consultation process, which typically involves an average of 5 visits and includes a free initial consultation. 

Please note that in some instances, patients will need a referral from a dentist or general practitioner before seeking treatment from a First Class Denture Clinic. 

Once the consultation and preparation processes are complete, you will receive your final fitting and say hello to your brand-new smile. 

Book your free consultation today and get a £50 voucher to bring along to your first appointment for money-off on your First Class Dentures treatment plan!