Removable Partial Dentures
Removable Complete Dentures
Dentures, short for Full or Complete Dentures, are the dental treatment of last resort. They are not so much a replacement for teeth as they are an alternative to being edentulous (not having teeth). They allow you to look and speak like you have teeth, and to chew food somewhat but not the same as teeth. Some foods you will not be able to manage, and taste, tactile, and temperature sensation will be different. Dentures are made of hard acrylic resin (plastic), and are held in place by adhesion (like a suction cup). Their stability comes from an intimate fit of the acrylic resin base to your edentulous ridge (the gums and bone where your teeth used to be).
Over time, the edentulous ridge remodels without the stimulation of natural teeth present; losing height and width of bone. The foundation on which your denture rests is changing shape and the denture will become increasingly ill fitting and loose. Eventually needing to remade or relined to fit your shrinking ridge perhaps every 5 years or so. Implants mitigate many of the compromises that come with dentures, and can be a real improvement in quality of life for denture wearers. Please take a look at the previous tab "Bridges and Implants" for more on how.
Partial Dentures, short for Removable Partial Denture (RPD), replace some but not all of the teeth in an arch (upper or lower teeth). The full name pretty much says what it is, you take it out of your mouth to clean it and put it back in to wear it. A Partial Denture has retentive clasps that wrap around natural teeth, your teeth serve as abutments to support and hold the RPD in place. Partial Dentures can be made of metal and acrylic resin, or flexible white and pink plastic that are more esthetic than metal clasp arms.