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 chosen combinations get quite complicated with lots of options in denture base choice, design and different kinds 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 the 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 design 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.

Clasps or No Clasps

We try not to make acrylic partial dentures with wire clasps which can wear into real teeth and are visible. In some cases, we can get partial acrylic dentures to “click in “ using the natural angles and flexibility of the acrylic around the curvature of your remaining real teeth to hold and lock them in place, which I call “flex lock”. “Cam-lock” is another option using a carved rotational path of insertion for a partial denture to lock into place.

Chrome alloy dentures have the option of flexible clear or tooth shade-matched clasps, often offering a far better solution.