Updated on April 23, 2024
6 min read

Partial Dentures: Costs & Types

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What are Partial Dentures?

Partial dentures, also called partials, are artificial replacement teeth that replace the missing teeth in a person’s mouth. They’re supported by the surrounding tissues and remaining teeth. 

They cannot be made for people with no remaining teeth left or needing all their remaining teeth removed. Your dentist may recommend partial dentures if you’ve lost one or more teeth to injury, decay, or gum disease.

Partial dentures are typically removable. Removable partial dentures include:

However, partial dentures can also be fixed or permanently attached. Fixed partial dentures are also referred to as dental bridges. 

Partial Dentures vs. Complete Dentures

Partial dentures are meant to replace a few missing teeth in your upper or lower jaw. They require healthy remaining teeth to be effective.

Complete dentures, also called full dentures or conventional dentures, may be recommended if your remaining teeth aren’t in good condition and you require a completely new set of teeth.

Set of dentures including full and partial dentures pictured on white background

Types of Partial Dentures

The type of denture you need will depend on your oral and overall health, how many teeth are missing, and your budget. The following are common options:

Removable Partial Dentures

If you still have a number of healthy, natural teeth in your mouth, your dentist will likely recommend removable partial dentures. There are three types of removable partials, including:

1. Cast metal partial denture

Removable metal partial denture on white background

Cast metal partial dentures are the most common type of removable partial dentures. They consist of a gum-colored acrylic base with an underlying metal framework and false teeth. The denture base is held in place by two or more clasps, usually made of metal.

This type of denture has high stability and is resistant to plaque build-up (with proper care). Cast metal partials are an ideal choice for those seeking a long-term solution.  

2. Flexible partial denture

Flexible partial denture

Flexible partial dentures are made of a flexible plastic material and are typically a temporary solution for missing teeth. These dentures produce aesthetic results because they blend in with your natural teeth and gum tissue.

Flexible partials may be preferred for people who are allergic to acrylic. Valplast is a well-known brand that creates flexible partial dentures. 

Flexible partial dentures cannot be repaired if they develop a crack or break. You must replace the entire denture. 

3. Acrylic partial denture (flipper tooth)

Removable partial denture mandibular prosthesis or dental flippers

An acrylic partial denture, also called a flipper tooth, is another temporary option. It comprises a removable acrylic base, a plastic replacement tooth or teeth, and optional metal clasps.

Flipper teeth are the least expensive type of removable denture but also the least comfortable. They’re not built to last a long time.

According to Dr. Khushbu Aggarwal, one of NewMouth’s in-house dentists, “Flippers are a great short-term option. For example, if you’re waiting on an implant to fully heal before getting your final crown, a flipper gives you the appearance of a tooth in the meantime instead of a gap.”

Fixed Partial Dentures

Fixed partial dentures are also called dental bridges. They are non-removable dental prostheses that are glued onto the adjacent teeth. Common types of fixed partial dentures include:

1. Traditional bridge

render of dental bridge

Traditional bridges can be made of ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or metal like gold. Bridges contain one or more false teeth and two dental crowns on each side that hold them in place. 

2. Cantilever bridge

3d render of jaw with dental incisor cantilever bridge supported by implant

A cantilever bridge is similar to a traditional bridge. However, this type of bridge only supports the false tooth from one side. 

3. Maryland bridge

3d render of jaw with teeth and maryland bridge

Maryland bridges are made of porcelain or gold. They have “wings” that bond to the adjacent teeth, which keeps the bridge stable. This type of bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth. 

4. Implant-supported bridge

implant supported bridge NewMouth scaled 1

Implant-supported bridges attach to small titanium posts embedded in the jaw. You must undergo surgery to receive implant-supported restorations. They are ideal for people who are missing three or more teeth.

How Much Do Partial Dentures Cost?

Removable partial dentures cost between $650 and $2,500 (upper or lower, not both). Flexible partial dentures range from $900 to $2,000, while flipper teeth cost between $300 and $500. 

A fixed denture (dental bridge) is the most expensive option. Depending on the type, a bridge can cost between $1,500 and $6,500.

Does Insurance Cover Partial Dentures?

It depends on your insurance plan and coverage. Many dental insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of dentures.

Taking Care of Partial Dentures

It is important to clean your partial denture daily. Daily hygiene depends on whether your dentures are removable or fixed. 

Removable Partial Denture Care

Use the following cleaning tips to care for your removable partial denture properly:

  • Rinse your denture under warm water after each meal to remove food debris and plaque. Do not use boiling or very hot water, as it can cause the denture to warp. 
  • Brush your denture daily with liquid soap and a soft toothbrush. Regular toothpaste can be too abrasive on your artificial tooth. 
  • Soak your denture in water with denture-cleaning tablets occasionally to remove stains and loosen plaque buildup. 
  • After soaking, rinse your partial thoroughly before placing it back in your mouth. 

When cleaning your denture, always fill the sink with water or lay a towel down. A partial can break on a hard surface. 

Fixed Partial Denture Care

Fixed dentures look, feel, and function like normal teeth. Denture hygiene, then, looks a lot like normal dental hygiene and includes the following: 

  • Brush your new teeth as you would your natural teeth. Hold the bristles at a 45-degree angle near the gum line and brush your teeth with a sweeping motion for about two minutes. 
  • Use an interdental brush or floss daily to remove plaque and food build-up under the prosthetic teeth. 

Follow-Up Care

Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist or prosthodontist to discuss any necessary denture hygiene and maintenance procedures.

Choosing the Best Partial Denture For You

While there are several types of partial dentures, your specific needs will make some options more appropriate than others.

You can schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options. They’ll examine your mouth, taking the following factors into account:

  • Your mouth anatomy and health, including how many remaining teeth you have
  • Your overall health (for example, whether or not you can undergo surgery)
  • Any allergies that may limit the materials used in creating the dentures
  • Any concerns you may have about the appearance of dentures
  • Your desired outcome

Depending on your circumstances, your dentist can create the right denture to suit your individual needs.

Partial Denture Alternatives

Your dentist could determine that partial dentures aren’t the best choice for you. If partials aren’t right for you, other options exist. Alternatives include overdentures, dental implants, and full dentures.

Last updated on April 23, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 23, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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