Dentures are divided into two main categories: complete dentures and partial dentures. Complete dentures are designed to replace the teeth in an entire arch when all the teeth are missing. Partial dentures are used when there are still teeth present in the arch. Complete and partial dentures can provide patients with a functional replacement when teeth have been lost.
Complete dentures consist of an acrylic base to imitate gum tissue, and the teeth can be made of acrylic or porcelain. The denture base is made to closely fit the contours of the arch to ensure the denture is stable during normal oral functions such as eating, speaking, or swallowing.
Partial dentures can be made with a metal framework and teeth attached in the areas where the teeth are missing. The metal framework also has clasps or arms that extend out and fit around some of the existing teeth. The combination of the framework and the arms that wrap around some of the teeth keep the partial denture stable during normal oral functions.