A denture is a removable prosthetic replacement for missing teeth. A full denture replaces a complete arch of missing teeth and a partial denture is used when there are still existing teeth on the arch.
There are two types of complete dentures – conventional and immediate dentures. Conventional dentures are fabricated only after the teeth have been removed and the bone and gum tissue has healed – about 8-12 weeks. Though the teeth are not immediately placed, this waiting period is required to have a well-fitting denture for the long run.
An immediate denture is fabricated before the teeth are removed and placed the day of their removal. The advantage is that the patient has teeth immediately. However, there is a large price to pay. Once teeth have been extracted, the bone resorbs. This creates a situation where the patient’s new denture requires many adjustments, a relign, and most likely, even a new denture after one year. Generally, immediate dentures are considered a temporary denture for healing.
A removable partial is used to replace missing teeth where there are also existing teeth. Removable partials consist of pink or gum-colored acrylic and teeth attached to a metal framework. The metal framework contains clasps and rests to lock into your existing dentition.