Dentures can improve facial appearance and your smile. Replacing lost or missing teeth has substantial benefits for your health and appearance. A denture provides support for cheeks and lips, filling out your face and profile. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person appear older and reduce their ability to eat and speak.
There are two types of dentures: complete dentures and partial dentures.
A complete or full denture is one which replaces all of the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaws. Complete dentures are held in place through suction, or the close adaptation of the denture base to the surface area of your tissues.
A partial denture fills in the spaces created by lost or missing teeth and is attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.
One significant disadvantages of dentures lies in the resorption of underlying bone. Depending on the condition and anatomy of your mouth, other alternatives may be available besides dentures. Implants in conjunction with fixed bridges are often very successful in replacing missing teeth. Under normal chewing conditions, the roots of teeth apply stress to the underlying bone which maintains it and prevents it from atrophy. While implants deliver similar stresses and maintain bone, dentures do not.
Implants, can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the ‘feel’ of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative of choice to dentures, but not everyone is a candidate for implants.