A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues.
Two types of dentures are available: complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Complete dentures can be either "conventional" or "immediate."
A conventional denture is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has had time to heal.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore, a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the partial in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position.