Designing Dentures

Woman smiling

The Importance of Denture Design

A well-designed denture can restore chewing ability, improve speech, have aesthetic appeal and help maintain overall oral health.1

Creating functional and comfortable dentures requires careful custom planning and consideration of the following factors:1,2

  • Clinical
  • Anatomical
  • Technical

Principles of Good Denture Design

Image of teeth

Three overarching principles form the foundation of good denture design

  • Retention: The denture should be resistant to the forces that can cause it to move away from supporting tissues.2,3
  • Stability: The denture should be as stable as possible, resisting any lateral movement and avoiding constant reminders of its physical presence in the patient’s mouth.3,4
  • Support: The denture should be resistant to the forces that may cause it to move.4

Restricted oral anatomy and denture retention/stability

Restrictions in patient oral anatomy can limit denture retention and stability.4,5Well-fitting denture performance can be limited by patients’ oral anatomy,6 and can be gradually affected by bone resorption over time.6,7

Oral anatomy

Impact of oral anatomy

Factors limiting retention:

  • Surface area defined by individual oral anatomy
  • Gradual physiological bone resorption over time6,7

Patient impact:

  • Low denture retention and stability6,7
  • Poor chewing ability6
  • Poor denture satisfaction7

Poor Denture Hygiene Can Compromise Oral Health8

  • The impact of poor oral hygiene

    Poor denture hygiene can compromise oral health8,9

    Poor hygiene with partial dentures may compromise the health of remaining natural teeth by:

    • Harboring bacteria which may infect remaining teeth and oral surfaces10,11
    • Encouraging increased plaque accumulation, possibly resulting in caries and periodontitis8,9
  • Inappropriate cleaning that could cause denture damage

    Up to 80%

    Keeping dentures clean

    Up to 80% of patients use a regular toothpaste to clean dentures9

  • Biofilm growth on dentures

    Up to 63%

    Biofilm and calculus

    Up to 63% of patients with full dentures have biofilm and calculus on their dentures.9*

    *In an observational study9

  • The danger of inadequate hygiene

    Poor denture hygiene may put full and partial denture wearers’ health at risk.8,9

  • Poor oral health and patient wellbeing

    Bacteria on denture

    Hygiene-related design principles

    Poor oral health may affect patients’ overall well-being as well as their oral health. Poor denture hygiene may result in infection of remaining teeth and oral surfaces, plaque accumulation, or propose increased health risks, such as pneumonia.10,11

    Consideration of hygienic principles during the denture design process may help avoid the risk of hygiene-related complications by:3,4

    • Creating dentures that are easy for the patient to clean and care for
    • Avoiding unnecessary coverage of gingival tissues

Inadequate Denture Cleaning May Lead to Denture Stomatitis12,13

Up to 88%

Up to 88% of denture wearers do not clean their dentures effectively.14

Up to 67%

Up to 67% of full denture wearers have denture stomatitis.12

Denture stomatitis Still

Denture stomatitis

Denture stomatitis is commonly associated with a yeast infection that causes the area underneath the denture to become very red.

Left untreated, it causes soreness of the mouth and may lead to poorly fitted dentures in the future.12,13

Stomatitis* is caused by microbial biofilm on the denture-fitting surface (rather than the mucosal surface) and poorly fitted dentures.13

The prevalence of denture stomatitis is strongly linked with the amount of denture plaque.12

*Polident not indicated for treatment of denture stomatitis

Effective education can reduce the risk of inadequate dental hygiene practices

Medical conditions and hygiene proficiency affect denture performance

  • Xerostomia icon

    Xerostomia is a subjective feeling of dry mouth that may result from a decrease in the production of saliva (hyposalivation).15

  • Xerostomia Infographics


    In a study, up to 48% of denture wearers suffer from xerostomia.16*


    • Side effects of medications
    • Radiation therapy
    • Chemotherapy
    • Systemic diseases
    • Diseases of the salivary glands

    *in a study conducted by Toshio et al

  • Xerostomia can limit denture retention

    Impact of Xerostomia on Denture Retention

    Saliva helps to hold dentures in place. Reduced saliva limits the surface tension whereby the dentures have less force to adhere to the ridge. Saliva, along with a well-fitting denture, creates proper adhesion between the ridge and denture (i.e. suction).5


Patient Implications of Xerostomia

Reduced retention of dentures caused by xerostomia predisposes patients to mucosal abrasions and ulcerations.4

Help Your Patients on Their Journey to Optimal Denture Care

Impact on quality of life icon

Impact on Patient Quality of Life

Find out about the impact that dentures have on patients’ daily lives.

Find out more

Tooth with magnifying glass icon

Oral Health Management

Explore an overview of diagnozing issues with denture performance.

Find out more

Management icon

Denture Care Regimen

Explore an overview of maintaining the performance of dentures.

Find out more

Denture icon

Denture Care

Find out more about Denture Care.

Find out more

Polident logo

The Polident range

Find out how the Polident range can help your patients.

Find out more

Patient resources icon

Patient Resources

Download resources for your patients.

Find out more