A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available: partial dentures, and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, and complete dentures are used to replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth, so there should be no noticeable change to appearance. In fact, in cases where the gums have shrunk after loss of the teeth, dentures are often more esthetic than a bridge or an implant, since the pink acrylic base fills in the space where the gums used to be.
After all or most of the teeth are lost, the gums gradually shrink, as the body no longer perceives a need to maintain the underlying bone that used to support the teeth. Eventually, some people lose so much bone height that they no longer have enough of a foundation for a conventional denture to stay in place. In those cases, dental implants can provide a great way to clip the dentures in, so they don’t move around. The implant attachments can usually be added to an existing denture, so there’s typically no need to make a new one. This converts the “conventional denture” into an “implant-retained denture.”