A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available:
Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing. They can be either "conventional" or "immediate." A conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. It is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal.
Immediate dentures are made in advance. It can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore it should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth.