Partials vs. Full Dentures

Do you have missing teeth? Are you looking for a quality, affordable way to replace all of them at once? Then a denture (full or partial) could be your best option.

Full and partial dentures both serve the same purpose: efficiently replace each missing tooth in your upper or lower arch with a single prosthesis. But they’re also quite different from one another.

Partial Dentures

A partial denture doesn’t cover your entire arch of teeth. It only replaces the teeth that are missing and then wraps around the natural teeth you still have. That way you’re still able to retain all of those anatomical teeth instead of extracting them.

Partials also have small clasps built into them, which wrap around adjacent teeth. These small extensions help to stabilize the partial while you’re wearing it, so that it doesn’t have to cover the roof of your mouth. Instead, you’ll have a slimmer design that feels a bit more natural while you’re talking or eating. 


Full Dentures (“Plates”)

On the other hand, there are full dentures. A lot of people call these “plates”, especially if it’s for your upper arch. Full dentures will replace every tooth in your upper or lower jaw. That means if you have any remaining teeth, they will have to be extracted before the denture can be worn. Typically, we don’t recommend extracting healthy teeth, so such scenarios are managed on a case-by-case basis.

Upper dentures cover the roof of your mouth. This design helps create a suction between your plate and the gum tissues, stabilizing the prosthesis throughout the day. Since lower dentures wrap around your tongue, you’ll use more muscle control in your lips, cheeks, and tongue to help keep them in place.

Everyday Maintenance

Day to day denture care is practically identical between full and partial dentures. Both types of appliances need to be removed at night when you’re sleeping. Plan to soak them overnight in a dentist-approved cleanser and brush them clean the next morning. And as always, clean your gum tissues regularly to help prevent any type of oral infections.

Which One is Best for Me?

Choosing between a full and partial denture will usually default to how many natural teeth you still have. If you need the remaining teeth removed because of gum disease or decay, then a full denture might be better. But if the teeth are restorable — meaning they can be repaired with other types of treatments — we may discourage you from having them taken out.

You always have the option of keeping your remaining teeth and getting a partial denture, then one day progressing to a full denture if necessary. But on the other hand, once you get a denture there’s really no going back.

Phoenix Denture Designs

Central Valley Dentistry offers a variety of denture designs for our patients. Regardless of your needs, we’ll be happy to work with you to find the best solution.

Call our Phoenix dentist today to reserve your denture consultation.

Our 5 Star Ratings from patients

If you’re searching for the best dentist in Phoenix, AZ you came to the right place!
Here are just a few of the kind words that we hear from our patients.


Monday – 7am-4pm
Tuesday – 8am-6pm
Wednesday – 8am-6pm
Thursday – 8am-6pm
Friday – 7am-12pm

Call Us Text Us
Skip to content