Types of flexible dentures (flexible partial dentures)

Partial dentures are a popular tooth replacement option for individuals missing one or more teeth but who still have healthy remaining teeth. Unlike full dentures that cover the entire upper or lower dental arch, partial dentures fit over the gaps from missing teeth while using nearby teeth as anchors. This offers a discreet, natural-looking solution.

In recent years, flexible partial dentures have surged in popularity thanks to their comfortable, adaptable fit and lightweight feel. These modern dentures mold and flex to the shape of the mouth rather than using visible metal clasping.

Flexible partials can replace multiple consecutive missing teeth in an arch. The flexible material enables the prosthesis to clasp onto natural teeth from any angle with evenly distributed pressure. This eliminates slippage and sore spots common with metal partials.

As demand increases, new flexible partial denture brands and options continue emerging. But which is best for your needs and budget?

Types of flexible partial dentures

Four main types of flexible partial dentures and their cost ranges

1. Valplast partial dentutes

Valplast flexible dentures are constructed using a durable nylon-based thermoplastic resin. This versatile material provides a non-porous, stain-resistant finish. The flexibility allows the partial denture to gently grip remaining teeth without visible clasping hardware. Valplast bonds directly to the enamel minimizing slipping and discomfort. 

TheValplast fabrication process involves injecting the resin into a mold of the patient’s mouth for a precision fit. The material’s flexibility enables easy insert and removal. Valplast flexible partials also feature lifelike acrylic resin gums and teeth for a seamless, natural appearance. This aesthetic advantage appeals to many patients.


Valplast partials price ranges from approximately $700-$1,500 per arch depending on the dental office and location. While more expensive than metal frameworks with acrylic, some dental plans provide Valplast coverage.

Advantages and disadvantages of Valplast partials :

  • Snug fit without visible clasps
  • Can be used for partials or flippers
  • Biocompatible, won’t irritate gums
  • Can be repaired or adjusted
  • Doesn’t conduct heat or cold
  • Higher cost than metal partials
  • Can permanently stain from chromogenic foods
  • May wear faster than metal

2. Flexilytes partial dentures

Flexilytes represent a hybrid between acrylic and flexible partials. They consist of a thin yet strong metal framework with durable thermoplastic resin denture saddles. The flexible resin material adapts to the mouth’s contours while the embedded metal provides structural reinforcement similar to traditional partials.

Key features:

  • Aesthetic appeal – The metal framework runs along the inner surface of the denture, so no unsightly metal clasps are visible.
  • Lighter feel – Patients report Flexilytes having a lighter, less bulky feel compared to rigid metal frameworks.
  • Great for multiple missing teeth – They offer versatility for patients missing several consecutive teeth.


Due to the metal component, Flexilyte partials tend to cost 20-30% less than pure flexible options. The price generally ranges from $500-$1,000 per arch.

Advantages and disadvantages of Flexilytes partials:

  • Lightweight and thin
  • Inner metal framework offers strength
  • Outer resin saddles adapt like flexible partials
  • Less expensive than non-metal options
  • Not completely metal free
  • Can conduct heat/cold due to metal
  • More difficult to repair or adjust

3. Flexites partial dentures

Flexite partial dentures represent an affordable, metal-free flexible partial solution. They are constructed using a dense nylon thermoplastic resin reinforced with embedded nylon fibers. The flexible yet durable resin enables strong grip and eliminates the need for visible metal clasping.

Flexite partials involve taking mold impressions which are used to thermo-inject the flexible material for a custom fit. The partial attaches via grip around the remaining teeth. Like other flexible partials, they can be produced rapidly using digital dentistry.


Pricing for Flexites averages $600-$1,200 per arch. Their all nylon-thermoplastic construction costs less than options involving metal while offering excellent function.

Advantages and disadvantages of Flexites partials :

  • Completely metal free
  • Lightweight, thin profile
  • Biocompatible, won’t irritate gums or teeth
  • Grip remaining teeth firmly without slipping
  • Not as strong as metal reinforced partials
  • Can be difficult to adjust or repair
  • Higher cost than basic acrylic partials

4. Sunflex partial dentures

The Sunflex partial denture system couples flexible thermoplastic resin saddles with cobalt-chrome clasps. This next-gen material adapts to the mouth’s contours while discreetly gripped in place. Patients report Sunflex partials offer a secure yet comfortable fit.

The flexible resin material called Sunflex Gradual Transition Alloy (GTA) allows the partial to grip remaining teeth with evenly distributed pressure. GTA enables a precision, seamless fit. The partials resist stains and odors thanks to the resin’s non-porous nature.


Sunflex flexible partial dentures range from approximately $850-$1,100 per arch. The partial metal component makes Sunflex an economical alternative to full flexible nylon partials. 

Advantages and disadvantages of Sunflex partials

  • Lightweight, thin profile
  • Discreet cobalt-chrome clasps
  • Resin saddles adapt similar to nylon partials
  • Gradual Transition Alloy provides uniform grip
  • Contains some metal
  • Clasps may irritate gums
  • Difficult to repair or adjust

FAQs for Flexible Partial Dentures

What is the difference between traditional partials and flexible partial dentures?

Traditional metal partial dentures use visible metal clasps and frameworks to secure the prosthesis. Flexible partial dentures, on the other hand, are a tooth replacement option made from thin, pliable thermoplastic materials that adapt to the shape of the mouth. Rather than using metal components, flexible partials use durable resins that gently grip existing teeth without traditional metal clasps. This provides a discreet, comfortable fit.

What are the main types of flexible dentures?

There are several brands of flexible partial dentures, but these four are the most widely used:

  • Valplast – Constructed from biocompatible nylon-based resin. Offers strength and adaptability. Metal-free.
  • Flexilytes – Combines lightweight resin saddles with thin inner metal framework for added durability.
  • Flexites – Made from durable injection molded thermoplastic nylon. Completely metal-free. Affordable option.
  • Sunflex – Resin saddles adapt like nylon, discreetly gripped with cobalt chrome clasps. Metal components are minimal.

How are flexible dentures custom-manufactured?

To create flexible partials, dentists first take impressions of the patient’s mouth which are used to make plaster models. These models guide the design and manufacturing process.

Option A: Shipping to a lab for fabrication

For options like Valplast and Flexites, the models are shipped to a dental lab where the flexible resin material is thermo-injected into customized molds. This achieves an accurate, seamless fit. The flexible partial is then polished and delivered to the dentist for any final adjustments before placement.

Option B: Fabrication in dentist’s office

Some dentists have in-office systems to produce flexible partials start to finish. Digital scanners are increasingly used to create 3D printed resin partials efficiently.

What are the cheapest flexible partial dentures?

The costs of flexible partial dentures depend on several factors:

  • Type – Options with metal components like Flexilites and Sunflex tend to cost 20-30% less than metal-free types like Valplast and Flexites.
  • Material – Premium thermoplastic resins cost more than basic nylon or vinyl materials. But increased comfort and durability offset the cost.
  • Number of Teeth – The more teeth needing replacement, the higher the cost of additional resin teeth and materials.
  • Dentist Fees – Specialist prosthodontists typically charge more than general dentists. Office location also impacts pricing.

What is the average cost range of flexible partial dentures?

The price of flexible partials range from:

  • Metal-reinforced: $500 – $1,000
  • Metal-free: $700 – $1,500

Many dental insurance plans provide some coverage for partial dentures, typically up to 50% of costs.

What are the pros and cons of flexible partial dentures?

Flexible partial dentures offer advantages including comfort, discreet appearance, and adaptability. But traditional metal partials have some pros as well.


  • Comfortable fit adapts to gums
  • Metal-free options for those with allergies
  • Lightweight feel improves comfort
  • Good option for those with limited jaw opening
  • Grips teeth firmly without slippage


  • More expensive than metal partials
  • Can be difficult to adjust or repair
  • May degrade or stain over time
  • Requires diligent daily cleaning
  • Not ideal for replacing a full arch of teeth

How do you clean and care for flexible partial dentures?

Like natural teeth, flexible partials require proper daily cleaning and care:

  • Rinse after eating and brush gently with soft toothbrush
  • Use brand-specific cleaners daily
  • Avoid hot water, vigorous brushing, and abrasives
  • Remove and soak partials in cleaner daily
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings every 3-6 months

How long do flexible partial last?

With proper care and maintenance, flexible partial dentures can last 5-10 years or longer before needing replacement. See your dentist promptly for any damage or fit issues.

Which is the best flexible partial denture for me?

When selecting a flexible partial denture, consider factors like:

  • Your budget and insurance coverage
  • Needed durability and lifespan
  • Number of teeth requiring replacement
  • Presence of metal allergies
  • Jaw opening limitations requiring more flexibility

Consult your dentist regarding the best brand and type of flexible partial denture to suit your dental needs and oral health status. With proper selection and care, flexible partial dentures provide an adaptable, visually appealing tooth replacement option.






  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

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