What type of denture is the most natural looking?

Natural looking denture

It’s hardly surprising the most ‘natural looking’ dentures are high on the list of ‘must haves’ for current and prospective denture wearers. Dentures that most closely replicate the very best qualities of natural teeth. A crucial aspect implied but not always said, is not just how the denture looks in isolation, but how it actually appears when in situ in your mouth.

It follows therefore, when choosing the right dentures for you, there are three other key priorities besides appearance, to consider. These are 1. functionality, 2. comfort and 3. your budget. So how do you go about attaining these priorities?

In this article we discuss removeable dentures, both the implant retained type and the conventional removeable denture.

Even the best-looking denture must meet other requirements to be natural-looking in your mouth

Aesthetics, or how natural your denture looks is dependent on several factors. Expensive dentures may have the best materials, the most natural looking teeth, and a low profile in the mouth, but if they do not fit correctly, they will not look natural. This is why other factors must be considered, like the accurate measurements of your facial features. If the distance between the lip and nose is incorrect for example, the overall effect on your face is going to be one of aging, no matter how aesthetically pleasing the denture itself is. Similarly, dentures that do not function well because of poor fit or instability, will affect how you speak and eat, and appear clumsy in the mouth, not at all the natural effect you’re striving for and certainly not comfortable.

Are implant dentures or conventional dentures more natural looking?

In terms of stability and therefore function and comfort, implanted dentures are superior to conventional removeable dentures. Implant dentures have metal posts implanted in the jaw to support a clip-on or screwed in denture. Both options involve surgery to implant the posts required to hold the denture in place. However, not everyone is a clinically suitable candidate for implant dentures. In addition, cost rules some prospective denture wearers out. While implant retained or implant supported dentures are more expensive than conventional removable dentures, they are aesthetically comparable to well fitted premium quality, removeable conventional dentures.

How to get what you want

The first consideration is choosing the right dental professional. Ideally you need to build a good working relationship with your prosthetist. Communication is key. Ask for clear explanations of what to expect from your denture’s appearance. People’s perspectives of what constitutes natural-looking can differ. Equally, a patient’s expectations can differ from those of their prosthetist and what is possible to achieve given the clinical and budgetary constraints. When the time comes for your try-in where your approval and consent to go ahead is required, be honest. Discuss any concerns, however small, with your prosthetist. Take a friend along for support and a second opinion.

Your role in the process

You and your prosthetist share the common goal of achieving the best result possible. Your role in this process is to be informed. You can achieve this by asking questions and making sure you understand the expected outcomes – what is realistically achievable for your unique circumstances. Be prepared to exercise persistence and patience during the process of having teeth removed if required, and then having the dentures made and fitted. Sometimes adjustments are needed to get the best results. This can take time and is especially the case if you must wait for swelling to subside and healing to take place after tooth extractions. Temporary pain or discomfort may result. Once you have received your dentures, an ongoing commitment to good oral hygiene and regular denture maintenance will ensure your dentures continue to look their best over a long life.i

A word on differing terminology

If you have been cruising the web looking for information about ‘natural-looking’ dentures, you may be a little confused about the use of differing terms. For example, cosmetic dentures versus premium dentures versus customised dentures. Very often they mean the same thing but are labelled differently according to region and oral therapist. An explanation from your local prosthetist should clarify what is the most natural looking denture available in their range.

Choosing the most natural elements for your denture

An assessment of your clinical requirements may rule out, or rule in, some options when it comes to choosing the components of your denture. Your prosthetist will advise on what is best for you in this circumstance, giving you suitable options from which to choose keeping in mind the four priorities: aesthetics, comfort, functionality, and cost. Generally, the more you pay, the more customised your denture can be. Your smile is the focal point of the lower half of your face so getting the placement, colour, and structure of your denture right is crucial.


The denture base supports the artificial or false teeth and secures to your mouth by clasps or suction. Denture bases can be made from varying materials including chrome cobalt metal, acrylic resins, or thermo-plastic materials.


The colour of your denture base and the teeth in it contribute to how natural your denture appears. Be guided by your prosthetist in choosing the best one for you. Bright white teeth are not necessarily the most natural looking.

While metal-based dentures are light and more durable they are more visible in the mouth and do not enjoy the same gum-coloured blending with mouth tissue offered by acrylic or plastic denture bases. Some studies suggest thermoplastic resins have better stain resistance than other acrylic resins.ii

Tooth shape and type

The choice of having customised tooth placement, shape, and colour, are not offered in budget denture selections; however, they are an option for standard and premium denture selections. Artificial teeth can be matched in shape, placement and colour to a patient’s existing teeth giving the most natural appearance. Better quality artificial teeth have a translucency and texture closer to natural teeth, not matched by cheaper versions.

Final word on what type ofdenture is the most natural looking

The most natural looking denture is one that not only looks good out of your mouth, but more importantly, in your mouth. That is, not only are the materials its constructed of important contributors to appearance, but also how well it functions and fits, which render the most natural appearance. You, as the denture wearer, have an important part to play in making the right choices for yourself in the initial stages of acquiring your denture. Whether or not your denture remains natural looking also depends on your commitment to a good oral hygiene regime and regular denture maintenance. The true test of a natural looking denture is the satisfaction you feel when you look in the mirror and flash the dazzling, confident smile you deserve.


i Banu F, Jeyapalan K, V AK, Modi K. Comparison of Colour Stability Between Various Denture Base Resins on Staining and Denture Cleansing Using Commercially Available Denture Cleansers. Cureus. 2020 Jan 19;12(1):e6698. doi: 10.7759/cureus.6698. PMID: 32117650; PMCID: PMC7029828.
ii Banu F, Jeyapalan K, V AK, Modi K. Comparison of Colour Stability Between Various Denture Base Resins on Staining and Denture Cleansing Using Commercially Available Denture Cleansers. Cureus. 2020 Jan 19;12(1):e6698. doi: 10.7759/cureus.6698. PMID: 32117650; PMCID: PMC7029828

Northern Rivers Denture Clinic is located in the heart of Tweed Heads, southern Gold Coast. Finally have the smile you deserve with handcrafted, quality dentures.

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