Metal or acrylic partial dentures – which one is best for you?

A partial denture is made to replace one or more missing teeth and relies on the remaining natural teeth to hold it in place. They are a very cost effective  way to restore your smile and function after losing your natural teeth as an alternative to expensive implants or crown and bridge work.

There are two main ways of constructing a partial denture:

  • Acrylic partial dentures are made entirely of acrylic (plastic) and use metal wire clasps to attach to the remaining natural teeth.
  • Metal (cobalt-chrome) partial dentures are made of a thin base of metal with teeth and acrylic attached to the base plate.

What are the differences and does it matter which type I get?

There is no short answer to that question!

Generally metal partial dentures are smaller, lighter and much easier to adjust to. They are also stronger, harder to damage and have a much longer lifespan. However they are also more expensive for all these reasons.

Acrylic partial dentures may not score so well in these areas but they are still a very successful option for many people. For example a good reason to consider having an acrylic denture instead of a metal base is the health of your remaining teeth.

If you are likely to lose more teeth in the very near future then acrylic dentures are easier to have more teeth added to meaning that losing teeth does not require having a whole new denture made.

These are just a couple of the things to consider before deciding on the type of denture you have made.

Everyone’s mouth is unique. You will wear a denture for many years so you need to make the best decision for your circumstances.

As dental prosthetists dentures are our expert area – it is literally all we do!

With four decades of experience we can fully inform you on all aspects of denture design, construction and rehabilitation to ensure you get the best possible outcome.


Sleeping with your dentures in: Don’t do It!

Dentures can be a wonderful thing for people who have lost their natural teeth. A well-designed denture gives you the ability to eat a variety of food, speak properly and smile with confidence.

Wearing dentures can be life changing. Therefore many people do not like to be without them even when they are sleeping

Unfortunately, wearing a denture 24 hours a day can have some nasty consequences.

Continual denture wear puts pressure on the gums and the bony ridges beneath them. As a result there is a gradual decrease in bone volume and density.

Loss of bone means less support for the dentures causing them to become loose and fall out more easily. And if that isn’t bad enough, the bone loss can prematurely age you as the cheeks and lips lose support 🙁

Dentures left in overnight can also easily become a breeding ground for all kinds of nasty bacteria and fungi. A very unpleasant thought!

Bad breath, inflammation of your tongue and gums and the risk of bacteria spreading into your lungs are real risks with a link between sleeping with dentures and an increased risk of pneumonia.

Lastly, while you sleep saliva production is much lower. Combined with wearing a denture this is likely to cause painful inflammatory yeast infections of the mouth and lips

Interestingly it has been shown that people who sleep with their dentures in have higher blood levels of a protein called interleukin 6, which indicates that the body is fighting an infection.

Convinced yet?

Quality of life should be enhanced, not reduced, by wearing dentures.

So take your dentures out at night because looking good for any surprise midnight visitors just isn’t worth it!


What exactly is a dental prosthetist?

This is a question we get asked a lot!

As many dentists still provide denture services to their patients some people are unaware of dental prosthetists and the expert skills they have.

Here is a bit of a checklist:

  • A dental prosthetist is a primary healthcare provider with immense expertise and experience in the provision of removable dental prostheses, including sports mouthguards.
    To practice as a dental prosthetist you must have the relevant tertiary qualifications and be registered to practice with AHPRA.
  • You can visit a dental prosthetist directly without first seeing your dentist as no referral is necessary. All private health funds will provide rebate benefits for dental prosthetist treatment.
  • A dental prosthetist is a recognised healthcare provider by the Australian Government. This means they can provide services to war veterans and all state government dental programs.
    Most dental prosthetists like Dentures Direct Ballina also choose to be registered with the Australian Dental Prosthetist Association Ltd. This is a national body which has a Code of Conduct that all members are committed to, ensuring a high standard of professional service to the community. It also provides numerous opportunities to its members to keep up to date with all the latest techniques and technologies.
  • A dental prosthetist’s work involves using very fine tools and equipment to achieve a finished product with a lot of intricate detail and precision.                                                                                              By nature they tend to be people that pay extreme attention to detail and are often artistically skilled, as the job does require some artistic ability to construct, form and design a natural looking denture.
  • A good dental prosthetist has excellent communication skills as they must work closely with their patients and be sensitive enough to listen carefully to the patient’s needs.

Dentures Direct Ballina are very proud of our profession and the skills and knowledge we have in the design and construction of dentures that no other profession can match.

Gene Torchia, Senior Dental Prosthetist, has decades of experience and an enviable reputation for his high-quality workmanship and customer satisfaction.

Book in today and find out how successful a denture made by an expert dental prosthetist can be.

Supporting our communities

At Dentures Direct Ballina we believe in giving and caring within both our local and national communities and take up the opportunity to give our support whenever we can.

Over the years we have donated to Ballina Coast High School, Surf Life Saving Australia, RSL Veterans, Lions Club Ballina, Movember, Beyond Blue, NSW RFSA, Ballina Bombers JAFC, Special Children’s Christmas Party among others.

Businesses can only thrive in strong communities so giving in any way, no matter how small, builds sustainable, positive outcomes for everyone.

This year we are continuing to support Canteen as one of our regular charities. Here is our  welcome letter from Canteen with a link to their website if anyone wants to donate as well 😊


Dear Eugene,

Thank you for your ongoing monthly donation. You’ve done a wonderful thing – perhaps more than you realise.

We’re very grateful for your ongoing support that will enable us to provide vital services and programs to help young people when cancer crashes into their lives.

Every day 63 young people will face a cancer diagnosis, whether their own or a close family members, but together we can ensure no young person has to face cancer alone.


NSWH voucher holders – Choose your preferred dental prosthetist!

As of 2018, the NSW Health Service in the Northern Rivers has changed the model of care for denture voucher waiting lists.

NSWH has employed an in-house dental prosthetist to see patients eligible to receive a voucher. Under the in-house model being used by NSWH, the practitioner who sees you in the clinic may not the person who makes your denture. This means that the person that makes your denture may not have the first-hand information that our prosthetist has when making your denture.

You should be asked prior to the allocation of your denture voucher what your preferred service delivery mode is. The choice will be between using the new NSWH in-house system, or going to a well-established dental prosthetist such as Dentures Direct Ballina. Dentures Direct Ballina are an approved NSWH provider. Your voucher will cover all your denture costs, should you decide to go privately, just as it has in the past.

At Dentures Direct Ballina we are with you every step of the way – from the initial consultation through to the design and construction process and finally the important rehabilitation and follow up period.

You will be fully informed and involved in all the decision making for the entire process.

We can ensure this because, not only do we consult in the clinic, but we do all the laboratory work ourselves.

We treat all of our patients with care and attention to their individual needs.

We pride ourselves on our high-quality work and exceptional customer service so you can be assured of a denture you can wear happily and successfully for many years.

If you have any questions about this issue please call us on 6681 6691

Lobby your local MP for a universal dental care scheme

Last month we attended another great conference convened by our national professional body The Australian Dental Prosthetist Association.
Over two days a wide range of topics were discussed.
From strategies for dealing with anxious patients to the latest digital advances to name just a few.
Taking part in these opportunities for professional development ensures best practice in our clinic.
Getting together with colleagues is also an invaluable part of these events.
One of the biggest conversations over coffee was the push for a universal dental scheme along the lines of Medicare.
Oral health and general health are inseparable. An alarmingly high percentage of Australians cannot afford good dental care which impacts on many chronic illnesses.
One of the roles our association takes on is advocating to have this issue taken seriously by government
Lobby your local member of parliament and let them know that you want a fully funded universal dental scheme

Full Lower Dentures – What you need to know.

Not all dentures are created equal

A full lower denture is the denture that most people struggle with. This is due to a couple of factors which are unavoidable.

  1. The anatomy of the floor of the mouth and tongue means that it is extremely difficult to get any suction to stabilise the lower denture, unlike the upper full denture which has the palate to secure to.
  2. Once you lose all your natural teeth a process called resorption begins and over time the bony ridge in the mandible (jaw) bone begins to shrink. This leaves little to no surface area for the lower denture to sit on making it very easy to dislodge particularly when eating.

There are many different techniques being marketed across the dental profession as being the solution to this difficult issue. The most effective way to improve the stability of the lower denture is to have an implant retained overdenture made. However, this is also the most expensive. In this case the denture clicks into place on titanium implants that hold the denture securely. Another method you may read about, that has been developed in Japan, is a suction effective denture. This denture base is constructed along very specific guidelines to create suction by forming an effective peripheral seal. However, every person is unique and no one technique will be suitable for everyone.

Every mouth is different

The condition of the bony ridge, amount of unsupported soft tissue, space and shape of the floor of the mouth, tongue musculature, stability of the bite force are just some of the technical aspects that need to be carefully assessed before deciding the suitability of a patient for a specific approach. For example, in some studies, the Japanese suction method has a one in five failure rate in achieving suction in patients who have been assessed as suitable. This failure rate obviously increases dramatically in patients who, for whatever reason, are not candidates for this approach. Unfortunately, when a practitioner has invested considerably in training and equipment for a certain system, they over rely on it. This common pitfall is often done irrespective of their patient’s particular needs. To illustrate this point, fixing a Toyota with Toyota spare parts won’t be a problem. However, fixing your Holden with Toyota spare parts, would be a catastrophe.

We’re here to help

Over the decades, we’ve helped many patients who’ve had a new denture they cannot wear. This is often because it was made according to a specific system not to suit their mouth and jaw function. Well balanced, individualised design, considering both the upper and lower jaw combined anatomy and function, is the tried and true way of ensuring that you can successfully wear a lower full denture.  Seeing a Dental Prosthetist who is highly skilled at assessing each patient’s distinct oral cavity and using the technique that will work for them is the only definitive way of getting the optimum outcome. This involves skills, not only in the more practical laboratory elements of construction, but more importantly in having an innate ‘eye’ for individual design, appearance and eating function.

At Dentures Direct Ballina we do not rely on just one system of construction over another as our focus is on our patients and what will work for them. We pride ourselves in designing aesthetically pleasing, well-fitting and functionally successful dentures that are as unique as you are.


Up-to-date knowledge is important to us

Australian Dental Prosthetists Association Conference

Up-to-date knowledge is important to us, that’s why we recently attended the Australian Dental Prosthetists Association’s 24th National Conference in Canberra.

Attending conferences like these lets us stay aware of the latest developments and polices in our specialist field. This is part of our commitment to maintaining our high professional standards.

Speakers came from around the world and Australia to present on vital areas of knowledge in denture assessment and construction. This included achieving denture suction, choosing teeth, identifying oral cancer, oral health in the aged, and infection control.

Our up-to-date expertise means our patients benefit from all the newest approaches and techniques. We want to ensure they get the best result possible.

At Dentures Direct Ballina we proud of our consistent involvement in all ADPA professional development opportunities. Our satisfied customers show how invaluable it is!

Contact us now to update your smile.