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 cheaper for all denture base options. They are several millimetres thick, and it can take several days to get used to wearing acrylic partials as lisping can be an issue. However, many people find them a complete solution that they are delighted 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 denture fails (when well made) is due to the patient’s adaptive capability. 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, meaning they have a poor subconscious adaptive capability. Usually, having a thin chrome alloy denture solves the problem because they are a business card’s thickness and much easier to get used to. Chrome dentures are not available on the NHS.

How well made your acrylic partial denture is

  • How well made your 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. Also, constant breakages due to the limited strength of acrylic and poor quality materials used.

Acrylic 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 even when made of the strongest Hi-Impact acrylic. Believe it or not, the average human-biting force is roughly 160 psi. I always equate it to your approximate body weight. This is the equivalent of standing on your denture. I repair several dentures each week, and the huge majority are acrylic dentures 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 your 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 many cases, an acrylic partial denture is not clinically suitable or strong enough even when made with Hi-impact acrylic.