Dentures are removable dental devices that replace missing teeth. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used if all of the teeth are missing, whereas partial dentures are used to replace some of the missing teeth if there are still natural teeth remaining.
There are two types of complete dentures: immediate and conventional dentures. Conventional dentures require the patient to wait up to 12 weeks after their teeth are fully removed before placement. This ensures that the gum tissue has fully healed after the tooth extractions.
Immediate dentures are created before the teeth are removed, and they can be positioned soon after the teeth are extracted. However, immediate dentures may require many adjustments over the healing period, since the bone and gums will shrink due to lack of stimulation from the teeth. Immediate dentures are not recommended as a permanent solution to replace missing teeth, but rather as a temporary prosthetic device to wear until the gums have healed enough for conventional dentures.
Partial dentures are used when there are some remaining natural teeth in the mouth. They are made up of replacement teeth connected to a gum-colored base. Patients can attach partial dentures to their mouth using the metal framework created to hold the dentures in place. Additionally, patients may opt to receive a fixed bridge, a device in which artificial teeth are placed in the missing tooth gaps and crowns are fitted on the surrounding teeth to anchor the replacement teeth into place.