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Partial Dentures

A partial denture allows you to replace one or more missing natural teeth and associated tissues. It replaces what is lost and preserves what is left and is supported by the natural remaining teeth and gums. 


Removable partial dentures come in two types – an acrylic base or a metal base. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The type suited to your particular requirements can be assessed in consultation with your Dental Prosthetist.

A partial denture offers improved appearance and function. It helps maintain the remaining natural teeth, improves and restores appearance, speech and certainly the ability to chew.

Which is best for me?

It depends.  Contributing factors include your age, habits and expectations. Oral hygiene, the condition and position of the remaining natural teeth, as well as the position of the opposing teeth in the mouth also need to be considered.

A recent check up of your remaining natural teeth by a Dentist is advised prior to the construction of a new partial denture.

Tissues covered by a denture normally do not maintain the same bone density level, and tends to gradually shrink or recede. It is therefore imperative that your partial denture be reassessed or replaced at regular two yearly intervals

Natural teeth are continually wearing down due to masticatory forces. These are the forces that are applied when you eat.

Conservation of the remaining natural teeth is enhanced and wear and tear is minimised, by distributing these forces of chewing and grinding evenly to all the teeth, including any artificial teeth.

A partial denture plays a large part in minimising the wearing down of natural teeth.

A partial denture situated around the natural teeth and opposing a full denture usually results in the full denture being more successful and stable. This is due to the better balance and distribution of all the opposing forces involved in chewing, swallowing and speaking.

To become accustomed to your partial denture more quickly, it may help to cut food into smaller portions, and to master chewing on the premolar (first double teeth )and molar regions (back teeth) first and then on both sides of the mouth at the same time. Consuming non sticky food also helps.


Retention of a partial denture is normally obtained by attachment to a natural tooth or teeth on each side and by stainless steel or metal clasps.

Friction against the remaining natural teeth and adhesion from saliva are all aids used to gain retention and stability.

Metal clasps are precise fitting and will not wear or affect your natural teeth. Clasps do however collect plaque which damages the enamel on the teeth. Proper oral hygiene is therefore paramount.

Night time

Dentures invariably occupy more space in the mouth than natural teeth. Wearing the appliance continuously enables the tongue and tissues to more quickly gain tolerance of the new denture. Wearing your denture at night may be dictated by personal preference however it is recommended that dentures are removed at night.


Proper oral hygiene is just as critical for artificial teeth as it is for natural teeth. It is especially important that the gums around and between the teeth, are kept thoroughly clean, to prevent the build up of plaque or tartar, and to prevent odours.

Whenever possible clean and brush your denture after each meal to remove debris, with particular attention to the tissuefitting surfaces of the denture and areas around the clasps where food will tend to gather.

Ideally, regular soaking in a commercial denture cleaner and the use of a soft denture brush with denture paste prevents the build up of tartar deposits that tend to collect and build up around the teeth, gums and clasps.
It is advisable to never use harsh bristle brushes or abrasive materials. Use tepid water only, as boiling water may distort the denture.

To prevent accidental damage by dropping the denture, chipping the teeth or fracturing the denture base, it is advisable to hold the side or the part of the denture you are actually cleaning over a sink containing a towel or face washer. All care must be taken to avoid disturbing, breaking or bending the metal clasps or retainers, as the fit needs to be precise, if a break occurs, immediately consult your Dental Prosthetist.
It is advisable that you consult with a Dentist or a Dental Hygienist for an annual check up/scale and clean.