The main goal of prosthetic treatment is to restore masticatory function. However, insufficient evidence supports the recommendation of one specific prosthetic intervention for partially edentulous patients. Function after the use of three different prostheses by the same partially edentulous subject. Mastication was assessed in 12 subjects (mean age 62·6 ± 7·8 years) after they had used removable partial dentures (RPDs), implant-supported partial dentures (IRPDs) and implant-fixed partial dentures (IFPDs). Masticatory ability (MA) was estimated by visual analogue scale questionnaire, while the mandibular chewing motion was evaluated by kinesiographic device, representing an objective measurement of masticatory function. Data were analysed by repeated-measures anova followed by Tukey–Kramer (P< 0·05). MA improved after IRPD and IFPD use (P< 0·05). Opening, closing and total cycle time duration were reduced after both IRPD and IFPD use (P< 0·05), irrespectively the implant prosthesis type. IFPDs and IRPDs restore the masticatory function of partially edentulous patients better than RPDs.