There are three ways to replace missing teeth. These include an implant, a fixed bridge, or dentures. Dentures come in many varieties and materials. Here is brief summary of some of the different kinds:
- Complete denture - when an individual is missing all of their teeth in one or both arches, this will require a complete denture. These are a relatively fast and economical way to obtain an esthetic smile that will last for years.
- Partial denture - when someone is missing a few teeth, then a partial denture may be used to attach to the patient's own teeth for support. A partial denture can be made with a metal base and acrylic or a flexible nylon material. Both materials have their own unique benefits.
- Implant supported removable denture - to improve function and retention of a denture, implants may be placed and the denture attaches to the implants via o-rings. The denture may still be removed by the patient and stored/cleaned. This is a great "middle of the road" treatment as it apples to dentures. The patient get the benefit of having a full set of teeth that are more stable and functional than without implants.
- Implant supported fixed denture - this type of denture is directly attached to the implants and can only be removed by the dentist. As far as dentures go, this is the optimal solution. One is able to achieve a beautiful smile and eat all the foods they enjoyed when they had their natural teeth.