There are several types of dentures available today in the dental field. There are the standard complete dentures that cover an entire toothless (edentulous) dental arch (top or bottom). These are made out of plastic and acrylic teeth and cover the whole top or bottom. Usually, they fit pretty well but may have to be relined or the patient may need to use the soft reline material that can be purchased over the counter at any drug store. Then there are the partial dentures that cover only the missing teeth in the dental arch. These will hook or clasp onto the most posterior (back) tooth that is remaining in the arch and will replace the missing teeth. Because there are natural teeth remaining they will not have to be secured by any additional source. They are secured by the clasp. They may need to be adjusted sometimes because they can get rough spots or damaged.
Today there are many different options for dentures and denture repairs. Some of the most talked about in the news and magazines are the implants. Dentures can now be secured by having an implanted (screw) device put in so that the denture will be secured by that as well as "old fashioned" retention methods like longer vestibule wings (the area along the gums up into the cheek). Also, using the pastes to keep the denture in is eliminated because the retention pin (screw) locks the denture in. This is now available in both partial and complete dentures.
Patients are really happy with the results of the implant denture whether it is partial or complete. However, it is more expensive and the procedure is a bit more lengthy than that of the standard denture. The results are impressive and also last longer than a standard denture type. There is less breakage due to less stress on one side or the other. We tend to chew more on one side than the other so a denture that is not secured will break easier than one that is secure.