Dental prostheses, or artificial teeth, are the same color and shape as the natural, living teeth surrounding it, thus the replacement of any tooth is possible, be they on the lower or upper jaw, and any number of teeth as well, even an entire arch of teeth, without looking unnatural. The loss of one or more teeth is not only an aesthetic hindrance but a functional problem as well, which can cause jaw damage and can also induce social angst because of the stigma that is associated in our culture towards people with missing teeth. This can lead to us being afraid to laugh or speak openly and can inhibit our day to day life.
There are a lot of ways in which teeth can go bad and start to decay and often it can come to having to have them extracted. While smoking, alcohol, and drug use are often causes they are by no means the only reason for tooth loss; poorly positioned teeth not corrected by orthodontics, gum disease, and unhealthy eating habits are the most common culprits. To replace an entire arch of teeth there are two practical ways. One is a fixed denture, and the other is the removable sort.
A fixed denture is basically a bridge which substitutes an entire arch of teeth (a bridge is basically a row of crowns) that can be adhered to a patient's existing, prepared teeth, or they can be housed on an implant as well. Inasmuch as the root of the teeth in question are in good condition they should be able to hold the dentures, but they are not then removable. If there are no healthy teeth left in the jaw then implants can hold the denture, usually 4-8 of them need to be inserted.
There are different types of dentures to choose from, based on the needs and capabilities, both physical and financial, that a patient may have. The most well known is the titanium structure that is fitted with porcelain crowns, and there is also a version where the basic structure is also made out of ceramic material as well. The all porcelain denture is somewhat more expensive but tends to have a more natural look, as porcelain plays with the light in a way similar to natural teeth.
These are the classic dentures from myth and legend - removable, usually made of plastic (but can be made of porcelain or metal), which need to soak overnight. Like fixed dentures, they are made to replace an entire arch of teeth. These not only can be, but must be removed from time to time, to ensure that you can clean both the denture and your mouth properly. The main difference is that a removable denture can be easier to clean, since removing may let you get to it at angles that just aren’t possible when the denture is fixed in your mouth. Removable dentures tend to be much less expensive. A denture that replaces both upper and lower arches is called a complete denture. In terms of structure, it is made up of a resin base that has replicas of your teeth placed into it. They can be placed there with both adhesives, a patented system, or click bar as well.