Polymethyl methacrylate (acrylic) is the pink base material of your denture that simulates the soft tissue of your mouth, which has conventionally been used to fabricate most full and partial dentures and also on cast metal frame dentures. Some acrylic denture base prostheses have unique advantages and disadvantages.

Some problems with these prostheses are difficult to address, such as insertion in undercut areas, brittleness of the acrylic material itself, which often leads to fractures, and allergic reaction to methyl methacrylate monomer.

The innovation of nylon-derived denture base materials in the 1950s paved the way for a new type of dentures. This material is classed as thermoplastic, which simply means that they becomes more flexible when subjected to warmer temperatures, such as in the oral environment. Flexible dentures are an excellent alternative to conventionally used methyl methacrylate dentures, which not only provide superb aesthetics and comfort but also adapt to the constant movement and flexibility during function in partially edentulous patients. This quality is thought to be a healthy advantage, because it allows for the stimulation of the underlying mucosa during function. It also provides unique clasp designs that flexes in and out of undercut areas during insertion and has a very high resistance against breaking. Nylon dentures are more affordable than fixed restorations, but cost a little more than conventional dentures with visible metal clasps. They blend into the oral environment visually and this aesthetic quality provides the denture wearer with confidence while talking, eating and smiling.   


The highly flexible thermoplastic materials have the advantage of both aesthetics and flexibility, but their application is case-specific and the material has their own specific disadvantages, which prevents it from being used in specific circumstances. They are designed to include gum-coloured wing-clasps that is unobtrusive in the mouth and flexes into position to keep the denture in place, thus including the stability of a metal partial denture and the aesthetics of a plastic partial, and generally does away with the need for unsightly metal clasps and rests. In the case of few missing posterior teeth, a unilateral denture can be made, where metal base and nylon base is combined for a unique denture, replacing the lost teeth with a very small lingual plate, incorporating solid occlusal rests and sturdy metal clasps around the molar abutment and an aesthetic clasp in the more anterior areas that is almost undetectable in the mouth – thus providing the stability of a cast metal framework with the aesthetics and small volume comparable to crown and bridgework.

All partial dentures are designed to be removable and should be removed at night to contribute to a healthy oral environment. With newer designs, materials and techniques, partials are more comfortable than ever before. Ask your Denturist about the many designs available.