Oral Health / Vanderbilt General Dentistry / Dentures and Partials

Dentures and Partials


For people who have lost most or all of their teeth, complete dentures can look very natural. They are customized for each person.

Each denture (also called a plate) sits right on your gums. It takes several steps to make dentures fit your mouth perfectly.

It is normal for the dentures to feel a bit uncomfortable at first. In addition, it will take some practice before you talk and eat without the dentures slipping or clicking.


Sometimes a full set of dentures is not needed. Perhaps you only have 1 or 2 missing teeth. In this case, you may get a partial. There are 2 types of partials: fixed (which are cemented to natural teeth) and removable partials. Removable partial dentures have a metal framework and plastic teeth and gums. Some have metal clasps that fit around surrounding natural teeth. These clasps hold the denture in place.

In some cases, dentists offer a temporary partial denture, known as a “flipper.” This design is made of acrylic and can be worn until a permanent tooth replacement solution is chosen.

Getting dentures made to fit your mouth is a process that usually takes a month or two. You will need to make dental impressions. Creating impressions is a quick, painless procedure, in which you bite down on a compound that cures to form a model of your mouth. Next, your dentist will work with you to select the look of the teeth in your dentures.

You will be able to choose size, shape and shade that will best match your bone structure and skin tone.

When you receive your partial denture, your dentist will ensure a proper fit. You will receive complete instructions on eating, speaking and caring for your dentures.

As with permanent dentures, it may take a week or two to get used to speaking and eating with the partials.