Dentures are prosthetic devices (artificial extension of a body part) constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the mouth. Conventional dentures are removable, however, there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clipping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to replace missing upper or lower teeth. There are many informal names for dentures such as dental plate, false teeth and falsies.

Dentures can help patients in terms of:

  • Chewing – improving chewing ability by replacing the area without teeth with prosthetic teeth. This enables better chewing and pleasure to enjoy food.
  • Aesthetics – providing the visual appearance of having natural teeth, providing support for their lips and cheeks, and correcting the collapsed appearance commonly seen between the nose and the chin.
  • Speaking – replacing the toothless area, especially the front teeth, to help patients to speak and pronounce certain words properly.

Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing some of their teeth on a particular arch. Fixed partial dentures, better known as “crown and bridge”, are made from crowns that are fitted on the remaining teeth to act as supports made from materials to resemble the missing teeth. Fixed bridges are more expensive than removable appliances but are more stable.

Conversely, complete dentures or “full dentures” are worn by patients who are missing all their upper or lower teeth in the arch.

Denture image
Image of a complete denture.