Different Kinds of Dentures and Denture Options Overview

There are several kinds of dentures with different design choices for every possible missing tooth combination. Understandably this can get quite complicated to explain and diagnose in person, let alone write everything here on the website so here are the basic categories of dentures available. Firstly we have to identify the kinds of base materials dentures are made of.

The Three Main Kinds of Denture Bases Available

All three can be made badly or wrongly designed so it’s what’s done with them that’s most important!

  1. Hard Acrylic
  2. Chrome Cobalt Cast Alloy
  3. Flexible Thermoplastic

1. Hard Based plastic/acrylic/polymer (the “usually pink” part)

“Acrylic” is the most commonly used general term to describe this type of denture base. It is the hard plastic that’s moulded to shape, fitting against the gums and around the denture teeth. It is also by far the most common and widely used for dentures. There are four basic kinds available. When made it’s hard to tell the difference between them. They all come in different shades and can be pigment-stained and characterised. Made well they can be a complete solution your happy with – made badly they are a total failure.

  • Standard Acrylic – Lot’s of makes – Standards vary – From super cheap up to mid range. Mainly used for economy and NHS dentures. Can be more prone to breaking
  • Pourable polymer – Tried this – Lot’s of makes – Personally, we don’t rate it as its not as strong and inferior bond to denture teeth
  • Hi-Impact Acrylic –  Standards vary – We use the best High Impact ‘Diamond D’ Acrylic for our dentures  – Much stronger.
  • Injection Moulded Polymer – The Ivobase system from Ivoclar. The ultimate in strength and precision fit.

2. Chrome Cobalt Cast Alloy

Chrome cobalt is a lost wax processed lightweight alloy casting that’s individually designed and made to fit around your teeth with several design choices possible for each case. The alloy melts well in excess of 2000 degrees Kelvin and the skill of the technician doing the casting has a great effect on the overall fit. They are referred to generally as “chrome cobalt dentures” as they are the two main ingredients used in the alloy. When finished they house the pink acrylic gum and the denture teeth where your tooth spaces are. Made well they are a fantastic solution. Made poorly they are a total failure. We see many patients with new chromes that they cannot wear and just don’t fit. Usual reasons are, the alloy castings have warped, impressions often are not accurate or the design is wrong, or a combination.

There are several makes and variations of alloy available to use with differing properties in castability, flexibility and strength. Chrome cobalt is generally the strongest and easiest to wear kind of Partial/Full Denture – the thickness of a business card but only when well designed, well made and fitted. We use one of the best, Vitallium 2000+ alloy for all our castings.


Vitallium’s outstanding properties make elegant constructions possible, causing minimal impact on the patient’s taste sensation.


Vitallium carries a biocertificate that proves that the alloy has been scientifically tested for its compatibility in the mouth and body. The tests were carried out at the Rhieinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany. 


The durable high-lustre alloy has a smooth surface, ensuring that damage such as plaque does not get a foothold, so providing protection against inflammation. 


 Last but not least, the fit. We are able to achieve a fit using Vitallium that is without comparison. 

3. Flexible Thermoplastic

Flexible Thermoplastic – In our view, they are only suited for a small percentage of cases where the flexible nature of the base is an advantage and can be extended to wrap around real teeth to hold a small denture in where the others would fail. This, however, is not very common.

Depending on which denture base option is the best one for you, finishing new dentures can take anywhere from two appointments on the same day,  to over ten appointments over 3 weeks to make, depending on the complexity of your specific case and the kind of denture base you need so generalising is not really possible. As outlined above there are many types of new dentures available. I will show you these, together with various teeth and the associated costs involved with each set of new denture combinations. This way, you will be able to make an informed decision as to which set of dentures you prefer. Together, we can then decide upon the right course of action and denture treatment for you. After having discussed the cause of your denture issues, I will be able to help you make the right decisions to solve them.

Denture Problems Solved

For over 25 years, I have literally seen thousands of patients who have suffered from either poor dentures that look nothing like their real teeth did, or painful, loose or weak dentures, after having been told that nothing more could be done for them. These are all problems that I can help you with. Get in Touch If you are experiencing any discomfort with your dentures or would simply like some friendly advice, please give me a ring or email me, as I am very experienced at solving all kinds of denture problems and will be happy to help.