Dentures are a type of prosthesis used to accommodate missing teeth. These devices are typically removable, but some are bonded or implanted. When all teeth are absent, complete dentures are used. When only some teeth are missing, partial dentures are used. Dentures may be for the maxillary arch, mandibular arch or both.
Dentures will fall into one of two groups: partial or complete.
Partial dentures, or bridges, are attached to the teeth to fill in gaps where other teeth are missing. Bridges may be removable or may sit in a fixed position using a crown. Bridges help maintain the appearance of a healthy smile while also keeping the remaining teeth in their proper alignment instead of shifting over time.
Complete dentures replace an entire arch. Following a few months of total tooth loss, conventional dentures are placed in the patient’s mouth. This is done to allow the gums a chance to heal. Immediate dentures can be used immediately following extraction, but immediate dentures do not allow for the tissue and bone to settle, which will require adjustment over time. Immediate dentures are generally exchanged for conventional dentures as time goes on.