Most people know that dentures are used to replace multiple missing teeth and they are usually removable by the patient. They can be either full or partial dentures, depending on if any teeth remain in the jaw being restored. In many cases where someone is missing several teeth in one jaw, implants or bridges are the best option for replacement but in some cases, partial dentures are a viable, more economical option to replace multiple teeth. The remaining natural teeth need to be in good health and able to support the extra load from the partial denture and there are some limitations to their use as a permanent solution but they often can be used temporarily until more definitive treatments are performed.
In the cases where full dentures are needed, the addition of two or more implants as part of the treatment, will significantly improve the outcome by increasing the stability and retention of the dentures for a much more comfortable, confident experience. The dentures are usually still removable by the patient but will “snap” onto the implants when inserted. However, with the use of four or more implants, they can be permanently and more rigidly fixed in place if that is the patient’s preference. This is discussed further in the implant section.