A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth, surrounding soft tissues and bone.  There are two types of dentures that are used- complete and partial dentures.  When all the teeth are missing a complete denture is used, while partial dentures are used when only some teeth are missing.

Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional denture is made when all the teeth are missing and the patient has been allowed to heal for 8-12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.  Immediate dentures are made prior to the extraction of all the remaining teeth and can be inserted as soon as all the teeth have been removed.  As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.  However, as gums and bone shrink over time, especially during the healing time following tooth removal, immediate dentures require more adjustments to fit properly and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until a conventional denture can be made.

A removable partial denture or bridge consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum colored plastic base, which is connected by a metal framework that holds the denture 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.  A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns.  This creates a more natural looking appliance.