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dentureman checking a patient



Most dentures are hard and strong, but if you’re looking for a partial denture made from softer material, flexible partial dentures may be the right choice for you. These dentures don’t need clasps to fit in place, so they offer more flexibility in your life (in more ways than one).

What are Flexible Dentures Made Of?

Dentures need to be durable and strong, but they should also be comfortable and function well for those wearing them.

Flexible dentures have been around since the 1950s, with the first type made from Valplast, a nylon-based material. However, flexible dentures only gained mainstream usage in the 70s and 80s, using thermoplastics such as:

  • Nylon (polyamides)

  • Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate)

  • Polycarbonates

  • Acrylics (polymethylmethacrylate – PMMA)

  • Polypropylene

  • Acetal resin (polyoxymethylene).

Different thermoplastics have distinct characteristics that fulfill unique needs—some are more rigid than others. This evolution in denture materials has led to super flexible nylons, crystalline nylons, and polyolefins used in today’s state-of-the-art flexible dentures. Still, the material used in your dentures also depends on your specific needs. For example, if you have allergy concerns, then crystalline nylon may be a more suitable material for dentures.

Types of Flexible Dentures

Flexible dentures are a type of partial denture, and they are softer and more flexible than conventional dentures. The most popular brands of flexible dentures include:

  • Valplast: These dentures use a biocompatible nylon thermoplastic. Valplast’s makers claim that they adapt effortlessly to constant movement in the mouth.

  • FlexiLytes: This brand of denture is made from nylon, is biocompatible, and is claimed to be long-lasting.

  • Flexites: These dentures use vinyl composite instead of nylon, which some dental labs say makes it easier for the wearer to adjust to.

  • Sunflex: This brand of denture offers a virtually invisible base that’s durable and metal-free. Sunflex claims the dentures are more stain resistant than other brands and can also be relined and repaired.

Advantages of Flexible Partial Dentures

Flexible partial dentures have the following benefits:

  • They have no unsightly metal parts, as they don’t require metal clasps.

  • They’re more comfortable to wear and for the wearer to chew and eat due to the thin and flexible thermoplastic resin material.

  • They’re less likely to cause irritation.

  • They can be faster to make when compared to conventional dentures.

  • They’re easier to place and stay in the mouth thanks to the undercuts of the alveolar (bone) ridge.

  • The base can be thinner than traditional dentures, as the thermoplastic materials are more durable.

  • The materials used in flexible dentures present no risk of allergic reaction.

  • They’re less likely to break when dropped.

  • Thermoplastic nylon resin materials are a biocompatible material that also contain no BPAs.

  • They’re stain and odor resistant.

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