Full dentures (often called dental plates or dental false teeth) and partial dentures are the tooth replacements that constitute the main prostheses included in the field of,...


Removable prosthetics involve any sort of tooth replacement appliance that is intended to be removed. These are often made for patients who are not good candidates for either IMPLANTS or FIXED PROSTHETICS

Below is a photo of a person missing teeth on the upper right side.

valplast partial dental plates

They were replaced with a partial denture, made with valplast/gum colored clasps, which are barely noticible.

valplast dental plate

Livionex dental gel has been shown to actively reduce plaque and calculus.

FULL DENTURES: (The terms "full dentures" and "dental plates" will be used interchangiblly) are intended to replace all the teeth in a given arch. They are placed when either all the teeth are missing or the teeth present are not strong enough, not numerous enough, or not positioned well enough to support a PARTIAL denture (see below). 

UPPER dental plates often will stay in without any adhesive, but lower dental plates do not function quite as nicely. There is often a nice ridge, and the palate does provide a nice suction to help keep it in place.

LOWER DENTURES are a very different. Your tongue, cheek, and lips, unfortunately all work to dislodge your lower denture. Also, your lower ridge is usually much smaller than your upper, which gives the denture less to hold onto.

IMMEDIATE DENTURE DENTAL PLATES: This is when any number of teeth are extracted and the denture is placed at the same appointment. It is usually recommended to keep the denture in overnight, and you will usually need to see your provider the next day.  The main benefit of the IMMEDIATE DENTURE is you do not go without teeth for any length of time. The main drawback is because the lab is “guessing” what your ridge will look like after the teeth are extracted, it most likely will not fit very well at first.  After the gums have completely healed, the denture can be either remade or religned to fit better, but the healing process can take over 6 months.  Because the healing process takes so long, the first few months will be very difficult. Your gums will constantly be remodeling under the denture, so it will likely move around a lot.  Along with the denture not fitting well, it also takes some time to get used to speaking and eating with it.  Rest assured though, after the healing process is complete and the denture is religned, most people are able to eat just about anything, and speak without anyone knowing they are wearing a denture.  Contrary to what you may think as well, the esthetics of dentures can be remarkably better than your natural teeth.

OVERDENTURE DENTAL PLATES: Instead of extracting all the teeth, sometimes roots (that have been root canaled) are left in the mouth and the denture is placed over them. This helps to maintain the bone and sometimes they can be used to help aid in retention, or keeping the denture in place.One key… brush the overdenture teeth like any other teeth. They may not look like much, but they still can get decay and abscess like any other teeth!

IMPLANT RETAINED DENTAL PLATES: Implants can be placed to aid in retaining a denture. The obvious drawback is the price, since implants often times cost several thousand dollars each. The dentures will be much more secure than a standard denture since it is will have something to attach to.

implant supported dental plate
implant attachment dental plate
implant bar dental plate


Partial dentures are intended to work with any remaining natural teeth to replace the missing teeth. Think of a retainer with teeth added on. These can be made with all acrylic, or with a metal framework. The design depends on a lot of factors, such as how many and where the remaining teeth are located, how strong they are, and what is on the opposing arch.

Below is an example of how partial dentures can replace multiple missing teeth, and can be made to be look very natural.

edentulous patient needs valplast dental plates
edentulous patient with valplast dental plates


If you have moderate to severe periodontal disease, you probably are not a good candidate for fixed prosthetics, and will likely need removable prosthetics.


METAL FRAMEWORK partials are one of the most common types of partials, and very successful. They are constructed of a metal framework, with the necessary areas covered with denture teeth and gum colored acrylic. There will usually be 2 or more metal clasps that hook onto the teeth to aid in retention. These can be tightened or loosened depending on patient preference. Because these are metal, they are sometimes an esthetic concern.

A few teeth may need to have rests prepared, which allow the framework to seat on the teeth and distribute forces properly. Rest preps are done without anesthetic, and are like little dimples.

metal fw dental plate
metal framework partial denture

VALPLAST partials are made of a flexible type of acrylic, which is a more esthetic option than the metal framework partials. They do not have a metal framework, which improves esthetics, but because the clasps are acrylic and not metal, they cannot be adjusted. This makes it more difficult to get an ideal fit, and because it cannot be adjusted, it may not stay in as well as one with metal clasps, which can be tightened as needed.

valplast dental plate
dental plate with thermoflex clasps
replace missing teeth with dental plate

This patient has a valplast partial below, with a metal framework which doesn't show.

replace missing teeth with valplast dental plate

ACRYLIC PARTIALS are partials that are made entirely of acrylic. They are not as strong as the metal ones, so they do break more easily. Like the metal framework partials, they also usually have retaining clasps that hook onto the teeth. Also, they are usually less expensive.

TEMPORARY PARTIALS, STAYPLATES, FLIPPERS are all names used for full acrylic partials that are not intended to be used for a long term basis. The acrylic is not as strong and is a little bit bulky, but they can be make sometimes in 1-2 days. They are good short term solutions or can be used when waiting for tissues to heal after extractions.  Although the terms are normally used interchangeably:

  • Flippers technically just replace 1 tooth.
  • Stayplates replace 2-5 teeth.
  • Upper temporary partials replace 5+ teeth.

Below is any acrylic temporary partial denture.

temporary dental plate

 If additional teeth are lost after a partial is made, most of the time additional denture teeth can be added to the either type of partial.

REPAIRS: If teeth break off or the partial breaks somehow, they can normally be repaired, although you will need to leave it with your dentist (who sends it to a lab) for a period of time in order for the repair to be done properly.


As mentioned before, there are many factors, but the main one is probably the PERIODONTAL status of the remaining teeth. If the teeth are not stable, most likely an acrylic partial will be made. If the teeth are stable, both options will probably apply.


Snap On Smile is a way to quickly and easily attain the smile that you want. It is a thin, acrylic type material that fits directly over your teeth that can fill spaces, replace missing teeth, whiten, and brighten your smile.

It is not bonded to your teeth so it is removable, but unlike conventional partial dentures, there are no claps, no metal, and they do not cover the roof or your mouth or other areas besides your teeth. This allows you to speak properly and maintain your tasting ability, both of which are common complaints with conventional removable partial dentures.

On the other hand, you can eat with them and they are designed to not change your bite, but they likely still will require an adjustment period.

snap on smile

ADJUSTMENTS: Whenever a NEW denture or partial denture is placed, PLAN on it needing some adjustments. Some dentures require very little adjusting, some require many appointments.

SORE SPOTS: If you are getting sore spots or ulcers on your gum, cheek, or whatever because the denture is rubbing on it, it needs to be adjusted.

DENTURE CARE: In general, it is recommended to REMOVE all appliances when you sleep. This allows the gums to “breathe” and helps prevent them from getting fungal infections and other sorts of maladies.

Companies like Polident and Fixodent make tablets that you can use to soak both dentures and partials in to help clean.  There are different tablets for dentures vs metal partials because the metal can corrode with the wrong tablets. 

Dentures and dental plates are very common sources of candidiasis or fungal infections, so it is very important to keep them clean, and some dentists recommend getting a new set every 5 years or so.

Getting dentures can be very traumatic and is a big adjustment to natural teeth, so it is very important to be patient and have reasonable expectations.

They also make special brushes to use on dentures or partials.

polident dental plate cleaner

How do you like your dentures?

Do you like your dentures, hate them? Do you have implants to support them, was it worth it?

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How other people like their dentures

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Denture plates 
I saw a photo of dentures that had a metal sticker or something to cover your upper plate from seeing the plastic on the roof of your mouth. IS there …

Elizabeth Morgenweck 
I had a full bottom denture made. Previously I paid $3000.00 for a full bottom denture and ate a M&M almond which broke the tooth free from the denture. …

I have partial dentures both top and bottom the bottom ones are so sore i was told today i have no bone on right side to hold the plate and that is why …

I just had my upper dentures put in and the teeth are a lot smaller than my normal teeth were. I went back and explained this to be told that that's the …


Plate with 4 front dentures as my gums would no longer hold these crowns. My other front crown is longer than denture beside it. Can this crown be filed …

Hi I am wondering to get a tooth replacement with no palate?

I have a new set of dentures, the top ones fit well the bottom plat has been adjusted several times and always a new spot appears to make sores. I always …

I have no title.  
I like my denture (upper plate) very much--except for one problem. I can't get it out. I will be addressing that after Memorial Day. I trust that keeping …

My dentist has told me I can't have a new metal plate made and I don't know why as I have had one for over 10years and have had teeth added at various …

Getting a new set and excited!!!  
I am 40 years old and I have a full set of top and bottom dentures, as a child, me and my younger sister, were not taught the importance of good oral hygiene …

The bottom doesn't fit the right side is higher up and it won't go down on my gum and they won't stay glued in, the left side will glue down and then the …

Mr, Gerald Wright 
I have two partials one tooth each one upper and one lower which is made from arcylic in Mexico they fit well and hold them selves in place without clamps. …

Partial dentures 
Nightmare !!! I cannot talk properly and as they are made of plastic they cover what feels like my full palette.I can't eat or wear them for very long …

Ms Rightmire  
I just received my permanent dentures and they are made with metal and acrylic overlay. The upper palate is all metal and the part with the teeth is metal …

I have an upper partial that is all most ten years old. I had to have one tooth pulled on the right side that was used to help ankor my partial. Then a …

Ms Marilyn o Sullivan  Not rated yet
Four teeth on a full top plastic palate. Over a raised area of gum and had ulcer in half an hour. Treated like second class citizen. Against me was on …

Nothing like real teeth but you have to adapt Not rated yet
I started out with partial at 17.,,car wreck braces on hit tree broke jam,ripped out 6 lower teeth with gums...but i lived was #1 I had 6 tooth partial …

I'm trying to find a denturist Not rated yet
Need help finding a good denturist Scared. Anyone know of a good one in my area?

Click here to write your own.

Read about Fixed Prosthetics Here 

Read about Tooth Implants Here 
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