A denture (also referred to as a complete denture) is an appliance inserted in the mouth that replaces natural teeth and provides support and shape for the face.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two ways.
A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the gums and bone have healed.
An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted right after the teeth are extracted and the gums and bone are allowed to heal under the denture.
An upper denture has flesh colored acrylic that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
Dentures can be fabricated to fit over teeth or can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit.
With normal wear, dentures will need to be replaced or relined to maintain a proper fit. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gums change over time due to the extraction of the teeth.
Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.