Plastic Fantastic: The Pros and Cons Of Choosing Plastic Teeth For Your New Dentures

If you have lost a significant amount of teeth, having a set of dentures fitted can vastly improve the ease and quality of your life, helping you eat, speak and breathe just as easily as you did when you had a mouth full of pearly whites. However, just like natural teeth, dentures have to endure a lot of punishment over the course of their working lives, so choosing dentures made from a suitable material is key to their long-term usability.

The 'teeth' portion of a set of dentures is traditionally made with porcelain, a material that has similar properties to the enamel of the natural teeth they are replacing. However, more and more denture wearers are choosing dentures with teeth made from tough plastic amalgams. These modern variations on traditional dentures can have a number of advantages, but there are also a couple of drawbacks to bear in mind, so think carefully before you decide whether plastic teeth are right for your dentures.

What are the advantages of choosing dentures fitted with plastic teeth?


Even a small set of partial dentures designed to replace two or three missing teeth can be a substantial investment to make; consequently, many dental patients choose plastic teeth for their dentures simply because they are considerably cheaper than porcelain teeth. This is particularly useful if you are on a tight budget, or only use your dentures occasionally for eating, performing, etc.

Stain resistant

Porcelain is a porous material, and while porcelain dentures are glazed to prevent stains from becoming trapped in their pores, eventually these glazes wear off and the denture teeth can quickly become vulnerable to stains. Plastic dentures teeth are much more resistant to staining (particularly around the gum line, where they are bonded to the denture base much more closely than porcelain teeth), making them an excellent choice for the heavy smoker or avid coffee drinker.

Easier to repair

Plastic denture teeth are enormously durable, but if they do somehow become damaged, they tend to be much easier, faster and cheaper to repair than porcelain denture teeth. In many cases dental technicians can replace or repair damaged plastic teeth in a matter of hours, with no change in the aesthetics of your dentures.

What are the advantages of choosing dentures fitted with plastic teeth?

Less convincing

Recent advances in plastics and denture crafting mean that, on the whole, plastic denture teeth can be extremely convincing and closely mimic the look of real teeth. However, they will not be as convincing as porcelain teeth under very close inspection, and may refract light in an unusual way under harsh lighting conditions.

Less longevity

Porcelain denture teeth may be more expensive and difficult to repair and replace, but they tend to handle everyday wear and tear better. Plastic denture teeth, on the other hand, may become unacceptably worn after a few years, although their lower cost means they can be replaced relatively easily.