Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth; they are supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable (removable partial denture or complete denture). However, there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants (fixed prosthodontics).
Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing some of their teeth on a particular arch. Fixed partial dentures, also known as "crown and bridge" dentures, are made from crowns that are fitted on the remaining teeth. They act as abutments and pontics and are made from materials resembling the missing teeth. Fixed bridges are more expensive than removable appliances but are more stable.
Another option in this category is the Flexible partial, which is widely considered to be the most comfortable. The final restoration can now be made very quickly with innovations in digital technology. Flexible partials are becoming much more popular due to their aesthetic qualities. While the cost may be higher than a partial made with visible metal clasps, the results of the flexible partial are beautiful, with high levels of satisfaction. Flexible partial fabrication involves only non-invasive procedures, and serves as a virtually invisible tooth replacement option.
Another type of dentures are complete dentures. They are worn by patients who are missing all of the teeth in a single arch (i.e., the maxillary (upper) or mandibular (lower) arch).