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Patients with most or all of their teeth missing require partial or complete dentures to restore the functionality of their mouth. Both types of dentures can be “fixed” or “removable”. Fixed partial dentures are essentially dental bridges (See DENTAL BRIDGES). These are permanently attached to either the neighbouring natural teeth of to dental implants (See DENTAL IMPLANTS).

Removable partial dentures are kept in place with metal clasps and this design allows dentures to be removed and inserted without professional assistance. Complete dentures can also be fixed or removable. The only fixed restorative option is an implant supported denture. We highly recommend this treatment alternative, however, we do realize that individual circumstances may dictate that a removable solution be used instead.

Removable solutions typically have two main disadvantages over their fixed counterparts. The first, and most concerning disadvantage, is the overall functionality. Patients with removable, complete dentures frequently experience difficulties when biting or chewing certain foods. The second disadvantage is related to the bone resorbtion (attrition) that takes place when there is no natural root system in place. The bone structure within the jaw becomes more fragile and visibly recessed when the denture is removed.