Kinds of Denture Bases

There are three basic kinds of denture bases available

  • Hard based pink plastic/acrylic/polymer – in Standard Plastic / Hi Impact Acrylic / Pourable and Injection Moulded Polymer
  • Chrome Cobalt cast alloy – We use Vitallium 2000+  The Strongest kind of Partial/Full Denture – the thickness of a business card/
  • Flexible Thermoplastic – In our view they are only suited for a small percentage of cases.

Acrylic Partial dentures

When you have either some or most of your real teeth left a denture that fills the gaps is called a partial denture. Acrylic (hard pink plastic) dentures can be made very quickly and are the cheaper of all the denture base options. They are several millimeters thick and it can take several days to get used to wearing acrylic partials as lisping can be an issue. However many people (a fair percentage) do find them to be a complete solution that they are very happy with when they are well made.

Acrylic Partial Dentures – The main factors behind their success or failure

Your individual adaptive capability

  • One of the main reasons that an acrylic partial fails (when well made) is the adaptive capability of the patient. This is basically how bothered you are by the denture being there. Some patients forget about their new acrylic denture after a couple of days and adapt their speech so nobody would know. On the other hand some patients cannot get used to them at all meaning they have a poor subconscious adaptive capability. Usually having a thin chrome alloy denture solves the problem. Chrome dentures are not available on the NHS.

How well made your acrylic partial denture is

  • A big problem is how well made the acrylic partial denture is!!!!  We get lots of patients who have new acrylic partials (both NHS and Private) that they cannot wear for several reasons – too thick – too far back in the palate – bite measurements are wrong (cannot chew – noisy-painful) over extended edges causing lifting and pain – loose – poor appearance – wrong design.

Acrylic just is not strong enough because of your bite

  • If the way your teeth meet when you bite means the acrylic is limited in thickness this often can lead to breaking your partial acrylic denture. Believe it or not the average human biting force is 160 psi. I always equate it to roughly your approximate body weight. This is the equivalent of standing on your denture. I repair several dentures each week and the huge majority are broken by eating bread in all its forms. I have been asking “what were you eating when it broke” for years to thousands of people. Because you know it’s soft you bite with maximum force so as it compresses it spreads the force against the denture and breaks it. We put no conscious effort into biting hard!
  • The combination and positions of your remaining teeth. In some cases an acrylic partial denture just is not clinically suitable.

Chrome cobalt partial dentures

Chrome cobalt dentures are thin light weight alloy castings. They fit around your real teeth housing the pink gum part and denture teeth as a combination of materials joined together. They have several big advantages over acrylic partial dentures but again, only when well made, designed and fitted. We do get patients with chrome cobaly dentures they cannot wear due to being poorly made, the wrong design or that they just don’t fit.

  • Chrome cobalt dentures have the best strength of all partial dentures yet are the thickness of a business card.
  • Helps prevent neighbouring teeth from moving out of position
  • Making eating easier and more comfortable
  • Better for your overall oral hygiene
  • They are thinner and far less intrusive for patients with sensitive gag reflexes
  • They are far easier to get used to and speak with
  • They can often be designed to be smaller covering far less surface area and uncover your palate
  • Chromes can have superior flexible tooth shade or clear flexi clasps which improves your smile
  • But they do understandably cost more and take much longer to make with more appointments

Partial Flexible Dentures

I have to say I am not a great fan of flexible dentures. On occasion they are the best option to solve a problem by having more flexi grip (where the pink base is extended to wrap around the real teeth to hold them in place) for a few cases I get. The base (the pink part) is made of a thermoplastic (like nylon) which is a completely different material to the denture teeth that are made of hard acrylic/composite which causes a problem as they are not chemically bonded together. The teeth are held in place with holes drilled through them that the flexible pink is moulded through thus creating problems with staining between the two non bonded materials. Also having seen many patients coming in with flexible dentures they have had for some time they seem to all go very kind of furry and rough. I have been to lectures lead by top specialist hospital prosthodontists that refuse to make them stating that they are far less hygenic than all other kinds of dentures. Patients ask me to polish and clean them but I can never achieve the “almost new” look like with chrome or acrylic dentures.

The other thing is that they are the same in “bulk” thickness as acrylic dentures without the thin advantages of chrome dentures. So ok flexible sounds great and is marketed to great effect with the “unbreakable” slogan but I make more patients chrome dentures that had problems with flexible dentures than I have made new Flexible dentures to date.

Complete Full Dentures

Complete full dentures have to fill in all the space that has gone where your gums and teeth once were. The pink bases are usually made of hard based acrylic/polymer which is molded around and chemically joined to the teeth. They can also be made combined with chrome cobalt which is usually in the upper full denture for added strength and a much thinner palate. Depending on varying clinical mouth shapes the variations in the shape, size and bulk of the pink parts of the dentures and teeth are limitless. They should not be made with flexible bases but often can have silicone soft linings under the hard bases to make them more comfortable for some patients with sensitive gums.

I know thousands of patients that I have helped to wear complete full dentures with no problems at all, but there are a small minority that because of either their personal adaptive tolerances or unsuitable mouth and gum shapes can have more difficulty. Again it is far too complicated to generalise, but I usually change some of the tooth positions and shape settings on a majority of the complete new sets of dentures I make for my patients to improve them compared to their current dentures.

Complete full dentures when made properly

  • Restore your facial vertical dimensions avoiding the collapsed look
  • Allow patients to speak properly
  • Provide facial lip support restoring your appearance
  • Allow patients to chew
  • Restore your self confidence and self esteem

As outlined above there are many types of new dentures available. I will show you these, together with various teeth and the associated costs involved with each set of new denture combinations. This way, you will be able to make an informed decision as to which set of dentures you prefer. Together, we can then decide upon the right course of action and denture treatment for you. After having discussed the cause of your denture issues, I will be able to help you make the right decisions to solve them.

Denture Problems Solved

Over the last 20 years, I have literally seen thousands of patients who have suffered with either poor dentures that look nothing like the patients real teeth did, or painful, loose or weak dentures, after having been told that nothing more could be done for them. These are all problems that I can help you with. Get in Touch If you are experiencing any discomfort with your dentures or would simply like some friendly advice in South Bucks & East Berks, please give me a ring or email me, as I am very experienced at solving all kinds of denture problems and will be happy to help.

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