Denture Design Considerations

Common Denture Design Considerations

We need to plan ahead.

With partial dentures, depending on how many and which arrangement of teeth you have missing, the choices and combinations get quite complicated with designs and kind of clasps. We need a prescription from a dentist for all partial dentures before making them to ensure we know all about the health of your remaining teeth.

  • Do any real teeth need treatment first? (flattening spiky roots/smoothing off sharp edges/tooth extractions).
  • Do we plan what’s called an “immediate denture”, which is when the denture is made ready before your loose teeth are extracted and fitted in your mouth, filling the gaps straight away?
  • Do you need to see the hygienist to remove scale build-up first?
  • Do you want to get your remaining teeth bleached first so the denture teeth can be shade-matched afterwards for a whiter smile?
  • Will an acrylic base make you lisp or have a gag reflex, or is a thin chrome alloy denture more suitable?
  • How far should the denture cover your palate? What can you tolerate? I use a system I call palate mapping to assess it before your denture is made.
  • Is hard acrylic strong enough, or do you need a stronger thin alloy base because of your jaw relationship and bite?
  • Will it stay in, or do you need clasps?
  • Which kind of clasps – wire or tooth coloured/clear Flexi clasps?
  • Which real remaining teeth are healthy enough or have adequate curves and angles to take clasps?
  • Can we make your partial without clasps to lock in place using the natural angles of your real teeth?

Future Proofing Your Partial Denture

There is a huge amount of thought that has to go into the design of a partial denture to accommodate making them as future proof as possible as well as maintaining the health of your remaining teeth. The other consideration is to accommodate predictable future tooth loss in the design allowing for the successful addition of new denture teeth resulting in an adapted but still fully functional denture.

Kinds of Denture Clasps

Partial Denture Clasps

The main aim of making every partial denture is to be as minimal and thin as possible and stay in place without wearing denture adhesive where possible. This is achieved using several kinds of clasps that fit around the remaining teeth. We try to make partial dentures with clasps as least visible as possible. The different kinds of clasps differ greatly between acrylic plastic and metal cast chrome dentures. Acrylic partials are generally limited to having wire clasps that are bent to clip around your teeth that is stuck into the plastic, whereas metal cast chrome cobalt dentures have clasps that are cast and moulded around your teeth for a much more exact fit

Chrome alloy dentures also have the option of flexible clear or tooth shade-matched clasps for premolars and canine teeth, often offering a far better solution for a tight fit without having to wear denture adhesive.