All you need to know about dentures


Dentures are artificial teeth, used as a solution to fill the gaps when natural teeth are missing. Dentures, also called ‘false’ teeth, come in a range of different types. Generally, there are three categories of dentures: complete, partial or implant-retained.  

As with other dental technology dentures have undergone several innovations, particularly in the last few years.  This has meant improvements in the way dentures look, feel, and sit in the mouth to work more efficiently when eating and talking.  

How do I know if I need dentures? 

There are a number of reasons why it’s important that lost or missing teeth are replaced.   

  • Being able to chew and eat properly.  Teeth fill a primary purpose of softening food so it can be swallowed. When teeth are missing, there are limitations with diet and the textures of food. 
  • As supportive structures around the surrounding teeth and to conserve remaining natural teeth.  
  • Supporting other dentures.   
  • To transfer biting forces onto remaining teeth, rather than the gums.  
  • Appearance – our self-esteem is strongly linked with how we look and smile. 

How to decide which dentures are right for you 

You should be guided by your dentist who knows your history as to what type of dentures would suit you best. You have choices about the way your dentures attach in your mouth and how they will look. 

Types of dentures 

Full or complete dentures – rest on the gums and replace all the missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Sometimes people are not able to retain any of their natural teeth, so need a full set of dentures. 

A partial denture – replaces some teeth and uses securing clasps to attach the denture to existing teeth. 

An implant-retained denture is designed to replace one or more teeth and is secured to the jaw through implants. 1 Implants can be particularly useful for lower dentures which tend to sit less firmly on the gums and can tend to move around. 

Denture materials 

Acrylic (plastic) – full or complete dentures are often made from acrylic (artificial base, gums and teeth). Although they provide the best suction and fit when replacing a full set of missing teeth, they are not always best option for partial dentures  

Metal & acrylic metal dentures bases with natural looking acrylic gums and teeth are the ideal option for partial dentures for stability and retention.  

Your dentist will work with you to identify which material is the most suitable for you based on your oral health and unique situation. 


As with natural teeth, dentures need to be cared for and cleaned regularly. Whatever type of denture you have, your dentist will ensure they are fitted and adjusted to your own mouth. It’s important to monitor the way your dentures are working for you so your dentist can recommend changes if they’re needed.  

Book an appointment with your dentist today to discuss your options when it comes to dentures.  

[1] Dentures | healthdirect



ADPA – Australian Dental Prosthetists Association