Restorative Dentistry, Dentures

What Are The 7 Different Types Of Dentures?

different types of dentures on white background

Are you missing some or all of your teeth? Dentures may be the solution you need to restore your smile, improve your chewing ability, and prevent further dental problems. Read why they are important for oral health and the different types of dentures available.

Dentures are a good solution when you’re missing teeth

Dentures are prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They are usually custom-made to fit your mouth and improve your dental function, appearance (smile), and overall quality of life. Dentures can be full or partial, depending on how many teeth are missing, and can be supported by dental implants, gums, or existing teeth.

Dentures are significant for oral health because they help to maintain the shape of your face and prevent remaining teeth from shifting. If you don’t replace missing teeth, the remaining teeth may start to move and tilt, causing gaps, bite problems, and gum disease. Dentures also improve your ability to speak, eat, and smile confidently, which can boost your self-esteem, which has a lot of personal benefits.

a dentist holding a denture

There are seven different types of dentures, each will be suitable for a different situation:

  • Complete dentures
  • Partial dentures (removable partial dentures and fixed bridge partial dentures)
  • Immediate dentures
  • Snap-in dentures
  • Overdentures
  • Economy dentures
  • Custom dentures

Dentures can be made from a variety of materials, including acrylic resin, porcelain, and even flexible materials such as polycarbonate. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, such as durability, cost, and appearance. 

Complete dentures

a dentist holding a complete dentures on their hands

Complete dentures are a type of denture that is used to replace all your teeth (upper or lower jaw, or both) at once. They are custom-made to fit the contours of your gums and jawbone, and they are designed to closely resemble natural teeth. The denture rests on the gum, as there are no teeth to anchor on. Complete dentures are removable.

An advantage of complete dentures is that they can restore your ability to chew and speak, which improves your overall quality of life. They also improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence. However, there are some disadvantages to these dentures. For example, they can take some time to get used to, and they may feel uncomfortable or loose at first. Additionally, they require regular maintenance and may need to be adjusted or replaced over time.

To care for your complete dentures, you clean them regularly with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap or denture cleaner. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or toothpaste, which can damage the surface of your dentures. You should also rinse your dentures after meals and before bed, and soak them in a denture cleaning solution to remove bacteria and stains. Always handle your dentures carefully to avoid dropping or breaking them. Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure that they still fit properly and are in good condition.

Partial dentures

close up shot of a partial denture on white background

Partial dentures are a type of denture that is used when some, but not all, of the teeth are missing. They allow you to keep the existing teeth, mostly they even use them as anchors. They can be either removable or fixed, depending on your needs and preferences.

Removable partial dentures are designed to be taken out and cleaned daily. They consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base, which is held in place by a metal framework. The framework clips onto your remaining natural teeth to provide stability and support. Removable partial dentures are a cost-effective option that can help restore your ability to chew and speak and improve your appearance.

Fixed bridge partial dentures, on the other hand, are permanently attached to your remaining natural teeth. They are cemented onto your natural teeth on either side of the gap. Fixed bridge partial dentures are a more stable and secure option than removable partial dentures, but they are also more expensive and require more extensive dental work.

Regardless of the type of partial denture you choose, it’s important to care for them properly. 

You should clean your partial dentures daily with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap or denture cleaner. If you have removable partial dentures, you should also remove them before going to bed to allow your gums to rest. Don’t forget to clean your remaining natural teeth and gums thoroughly to prevent decay and gum disease.

Immediate dentures

Immediate dentures are a type of denture that is placed in your mouth immediately after your remaining teeth are extracted. They are custom-made to fit your gums and jawbone, and they can be either complete or partial dentures. Immediate dentures are designed to help you maintain your appearance and function while your gums heal and your permanent dentures are being made.

The benefit of immediate dentures is that they can be placed in your mouth right after your teeth are removed, so you don’t have to go without teeth during the healing process. However, immediate dentures may need to be adjusted or relined as your gums heal and shrink. Additionally, they may not fit as well as permanent dentures, making them a little less comfortable.

Snap-in dentures (Implant-supported dentures)

Snap-in dentures, also known as implant-supported dentures, are a type of denture that attaches to dental implants in your jawbone. They are called ‘snap-in’ because they snap onto dental implants that have been placed into your jawbone. They can be either complete or partial dentures, and they are designed to be more stable and secure than traditional dentures. Snap-in dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base, which snaps onto a series of abutments on the dental implants.

Snap-in dentures are more stable and secure than traditional dentures, which can help you chew and speak more comfortably. They also look and feel more like natural teeth, which can improve your confidence and self-esteem. However, snap-in dentures are also more expensive and require more dental work than traditional dentures.


Overdentures sit on the gum but are anchored by dental implants. Overdentures are often complete dentures. although partials do exist. They are removable and are like snap-in dentures, but there are also permanent overdentures. They are supported by implants or a metal bar that’s implanted in the gum. 

The big benefit of overdentures is that they can not dislodge easily. You can bite into something tough without any worries. They are natural looking and secure, which can improve confidence. However, they require quite an extensive dental procedure.

Economy dentures

Economy dentures are a type of denture that is designed to be more affordable than other types of dentures. They are generic, so not customized to fit your mouth. This can make them less comfortable and secure than other dentures. Additionally, economy dentures may not have a natural-looking appearance, and they may be more noticeable than custom dentures.

The big advantage of economy dentures is that they are more affordable than other types of dentures, which can make them a good option for people on a tight budget. However, economy dentures may not be as durable, comfortable, or aesthetically pleasing as other types of dentures. They can look fake. They may also need to be replaced more frequently, as they are often made from lower-quality materials. This can add to their long-term cost.

Custom dentures

Custom dentures, also known as personalized dentures, are a type of denture that is designed specifically to fit your mouth. Most of the dentures mentioned earlier are custom dentures: they are customized to your unique oral anatomy, which can make them more comfortable and secure than other dentures. They generally have a natural-looking appearance, which can help to enhance your overall appearance and boost your confidence.

This makes them the most comfortable option. Your dentist will take detailed impressions of your mouth and create a mold that is used to craft your dentures. This process ensures a precise fit that can minimize discomfort and slippage. Custom dentures can also be customized to match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth, which can make them virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

What dentures should I choose?

When it comes to picking the right type of dentures, there are several factors to consider. Your dentist will work with you to determine the best option based on your individual needs and oral health status.

If you have a couple of missing teeth, partial dentures are a good option. If you have all of your teeth missing, complete dentures may be necessary. If you are looking for a more stable and secure option, implant-supported dentures or overdentures may be the right choice.

You also have to consider budget, as some types of dentures may be more expensive than others. 

Ultimately, the best type of dentures for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Your dentist can help guide you through the decision-making process and recommend the best options for achieving a healthy, functional, and natural-looking smile.

Not sure about dentures yet? Maybe veneers or dental implants are worth reading up on.

The process of getting dentures

If you’re considering getting dentures, the process typically involves several steps. First, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive oral exam to assess the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. This will help determine whether dentures are the best option for you and which type of denture will work best.

Your dentist will then take impressions of your mouth, which will be used to create a mold of your teeth and gums. This mold will be used to create your dentures.

Once your dentures are ready, you can schedule a fitting appointment. During this appointment, your dentist will check the fit and adjust the dentures as needed to ensure they are comfortable and secure. It may take several appointments and adjustments before they fit and function correctly.