A partial denture resting in a person’s hands

Partial dentures, also known as removable partial dentures (RPDs), are dental prosthetic devices our dentist creates to replace one or more missing teeth. These oral appliances restore the function and appearance of the patient’s natural teeth.

While that’s all fine and dandy, you may wonder if they’re worth it, which means you need to know the answer to ‘How long do partial dentures last.’

Well, we at River Valley Dental, serving Mankato, MN, and the nearby region, have some insight. And it just might be longer than you thought!

Partial vs. Full

In general, full dentures tend to last longer than partial ones since a complete set replaces an entire arch of teeth, distributing the forces of chewing and biting more evenly across the appliance. This reduces the stress placed on individual teeth or clasps, which can cause wear and tear on partial dentures over time.

Partial dentures also often have clasps or attachments that anchor onto remaining natural teeth. These components are susceptible to wear, damage, or loosening over time. Full dentures, on the other hand, have a complete, self-contained arch and don’t rely on attachments or clasps.

Partial dentures can put additional strain on the remaining natural teeth and the underlying gum tissues, possibly causing changes in the supporting structures.

Lifespan of partials

Answering ‘How long do partial dentures last?’ isn’t as simple as giving a time frame. On average, though, well-maintained partial dentures can last about five to ten years. However, the lifespan of partial dentures can vary depending on several factors, like your oral hygiene and their material.

Oral hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is crucial for the longevity of your dentures. Regularly cleaning your dentures and maintaining good oral health can help prevent gum disease and bone loss, which can affect a denture’s fit and function.

Oral anatomy changes

The shape of your mouth and the supporting structures can change over time from gum and bone loss. These changes can impact the fit and stability of your dentures.

Denture care

How well you care for your dentures can significantly impact their lifespan, so be sure to follow the instructions provided by our dentist for cleaning and maintenance, such as avoiding abrasive cleaners or hot water, as they can damage denture materials. You must also carefully handle your dentures to avoid dropping them or causing any fractures.

Adherence to dental visits

Regular visits to our dentist are vital for maintaining your dentures and good oral health. Our Mankato dentist can assess the condition of your dentures, make any necessary adjustments, and detect and correct any underlying issues that may affect their lifespan.


Among the different materials used for partial dentures, cast metal ones are typically known for their durability and longevity more so than the others. These dentures consist of a metal alloy, such as cobalt-chromium or titanium.

Metal alloys provide excellent strength and resistance. In fact, on average, well-maintained cast metal partial dentures can last about five to ten years or even longer.

On the other hand, well-maintained acrylic partial dentures only last for about three to five years.

Nylon dentures are another example and are generally less durable than traditional acrylic or metal-based dentures. These partial dentures can last for about two to five years.

You could also choose a thermoplastic resin partial, but they’re not as durable as the other options. They typically only last anywhere from one to three years.

Hybrid partials can give you the longevity of metal because they combine different materials, such as a metal framework with porcelain or ceramic teeth. On average, a set of well-maintained hybrid partial dentures can last for about five to 10 years or possibly even longer.

Nobody can say for sure how long your partials will last since their lifespan can vary depending on various factors, like how well you care for them. Ideally, you want to maintain good oral hygiene, follow proper cleaning and maintenance instructions, and regularly visit the dentist for check-ups and adjustments.


Contact us today to discover if partial dentures are for you. Plus, once you receive them, our dentist will help you maximize their lifespan!

While our office is in Mankato, MN, we’re available to people in the local areas of Saint Peter, New Ulm, Waseca, Faribault, Owatonna, Fairmont, Northfield, Albert Lea, and Chaska.