Complete dentures are a prosthetic replacement for when a person is missing all of their teeth in one or both of their arches. It is important to understand that while dentures can return some function and esthetics to a person, they will never function as well as the natural teeth. Some dentures may always require an adhesive paste to be held in place. Dentures for the upper teeth are generally more functional and better tolerated than dentures for the lower teeth. I strongly recommend that anyone requiring a lower complete denture consider placing two dental implants to secure the denture in place. Studies have shown a drastic improvement in patient comfort and satisfaction when the denture is connected to dental implants by locator attachments.
Partial dentures are a prosthetic replacement for when a person is missing some, but not all, of their teeth in one or both of their arches. They are typically fabricated with a metal framework that is stabilized by clasps that hug the remaining teeth. Acrylic denture teeth and pink acrylic resin are used to disguise the metal of the framework but it is likely that some metal will remain visible. The clasps will need to be tightened periodically. Partial dentures are generally better tolerated than complete dentures.
Partial dentures can be a good, economical way to replace a number of missing teeth as the price does not increase based on the number of teeth missing.