A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth, along with its surrounding tissues. Dentures
resemble the natural teeth and the gum tissues closely.
Dentures are usually made of acrylic plastic, but can also be made of metal or porcelain sometimes.
Dentures are of two main types- partial and complete. Complete dentures are given when all teeth are missing, while partial dentures are given when few teeth are missing.
Dentures can also be classified as immediate or conventional. Immediate dentures are given on the
same day as teeth extraction. This immediate denture helps in reducing the bleeding from the socket, as well as acts as a band-aid to protect the underlying tissues. The conventional denture is generally given 8 to 12 weeks after teeth extraction and once the gums are healed. However, some dentists may wait for a little longer before giving a conventional denture.
A Cast Partial Denture (CPD) is a removable partial denture consisting of a cast metal framework that contains artificial teeth set in an acrylic resin. As compared to the conventional acrylic denture, Cast Partial Denture is stronger, more durable and retentive.
Some new types of dentures are becoming quite popular. One of them is a flexible denture. A flexible denture is a type of a partial denture, which is made up of softer materials than regular dentures. They are generally made up of flexible, thin thermoplastic material like nylon, rather than
the much thicker acrylic material that is used in complete dentures.
The advantage of flexible dentures is that besides being flexible, they are also lightweight and comfortable, and help in better chewing efficiency. They are also more aesthetic as
compared to a conventional denture.
Another type of denture which is gaining popularity is overdenture. The overdenture may be tooth-
supported or implant-supported. Sometimes a few teeth are cut at the gum level after root canal procedure is performed, and with the support of these root canal treated teeth, a denture is placed on top. These are tooth-supported overdentures.
Similarly, sometimes a few implants are placed in the jaw, and with the support of these implants, a
denture is placed on the top. These are implant-supported overdentures.
The advantage of overdentures over conventional dentures is that they offer better retention, support, and stability than the conventional dentures.