All you need to know about partial dentures

Around 25% of the adult population in Australia have no natural teeth and rely on dentures.

Large numbers of people have several missing teeth and may have removable partial dentures to fill the gaps. Still many others have spaces where teeth are missing and have not replaced them.

Choosing not to replace your missing teeth can have a detrimental effect on both your oral health leading to issues such as gum disease and tooth decay of any remaining teeth. Additionally, the facial muscles, particularly the jawbone, can be adversely affected by missing teeth.

How do partial dentures compare to the other ways of replacing several teeth?

There are several different solutions that provide an alternative to dentures, where one can replace several teeth. These ways include dental bridges and dental implants which hold crowns.

The types of partial dentures

A partial denture can be one of three different types:

  1. Acrylic (all plastic) which is often clipped on to your surrounding teeth with thin metal clasps.
  2. Valplast (a special type of flexible plastic) that has no metal component.
  3. Chrome Cobalt (a very corrosion-free grade of stainless steel) with metal clasps made of the same material and the usual denture teeth and pink gum-coloured acrylic.

There are several pros and cons of each type of denture. Some of these are explained below.


  1. Once considered the most inferior type, and generally as ill-fitting dentures, but can now be very precisely fitting and comfortable through using 3D printing methods. We no longer use laboratories that construct dentures with the older methods.
  2. The lowest fees of the 3 types.
  3. Typically, they are thicker than the other 2 types.
  4. Not as strong and robust as the other two types
  5. May cover a larger area of your gum than the other two types.
  6. Usually requires thin metal clasps to grip the neighbouring teeth. Not all are happy to show any metal.
  7. Are often able to have an additional tooth added if a neighbouring tooth is subsequently lost.
  8. Relatively simple to repair if there is a breakage.
  9. Relatively simple to reline when the gum continues shrinking underneath them.
  10. Like each of the other types of partial denture, it is removable, and some people do not wish to bother with a removable appliance when a fixed appliance replacing teeth can be used.
  11. A functional, well-fitting longevity of about 4-5 years, but may last years longer.


  1. This type looks and feels most natural and has no metal components.
  2. It is very thin and covers a small gum area.
  3. It has a comfortable, friction-fit level of tightness.
  4. Only a few Australian Dental laboratories use the genuine Valplast resin material and those that do not, cannot easily be repaired, relined or have a tooth added if a neighbouring tooth is lost.
  5. We have all ours fabricated with a Laboratory that uses original, genuine Valplast material, and that is all they do. The result is a very good precision fit.
  6. Not all cases requiring a partial denture can be done using Valplast. Any cases where there are no natural teeth left at either end of the jaw, may not be able to have Valplast.
  7. Any case where a long gap with many teeth may not suit a Valplast Partial Denture due to the flexible nature of these dentures.
  8. Cost wise, they are mid-way between the fees for an Acrylic Partial Denture and a Chrome Cobalt Partial Denture.
  9. A functional, well-fitting life expectancy is probably similar, or a few years longer, than an Acrylic partial denture.

Chrome Cobalt

  1. Undoubtedly the most robust and longest lasting. We have seen people who still have these after 40 years, but they are the exception.
  2. Average functional, well-fitting life expectancy, 10-15 years.
  3. Need to be worn every day to maintain the accuracy of fit.
  4. Do have metal and it can be visible, and even more than an Acrylic partial denture clasps.
  5. An accidental drop may distort the frame, so they do not fit again. Careful cleaning instructions are needed and are given.
  6. Not always can a tooth be added if a neighbouring tooth is subsequently lost. Sometimes a Laser-welded repair can add to the metal frame, but it can become costly.
  7. The most expensive and precision-fitted type of partial denture.
  8. Old ways of casting the metal are not as accurate and precise as all our Chrome Cobalt Dentures which are digitally designed, and Laser printed in a major southern Laboratory.
  9. Well-suited to people who grind and clench their teeth strongly.
  10. Can be used where many natural teeth are missing.

Full Dentures for those with no natural teeth left

When teeth reach the stage of being beyond hope of saving or beyond sensible, economic salvation, full immediate dentures need to be considered. An immediate denture is made before the teeth are extracted, and put straight in when the teeth are removed, so there is no period of being without teeth.

For some, these complete dentures will be their permanent false teeth and for some it will be a stepping stone until dental implants are placed to support either a removable overdenture or a fully fixed implant-supported denture.

Dentures in Cairns

If you are looking at filling in the gaps in your smile, we recommend that you contact Future Dental. With over 45 years of experience in dentistry, they can provide the perfect denture solution for you, and provide you a comfortable solution for the long term.

If you are interested in the range of dentures offered at Future Dental, be sure to check out our range.

Get in touch with Future Dental today and see the difference they can make for you.

Make an Enquiry

  • Phone (07) 4051 4580
  • Fax (07) 4031 5226
  • Email
  • Address Ground Floor "Accent on McLeod"
    93-95 McLeod St

    Cairns QLD 4870
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    Monday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Tuesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Wednesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Thursday8:00am - 5:00pm
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