Before introducing the term denture, it is important to know the meaning of term prosthesis. Prosthesis is defined as an artificial extension that replaces a missing body part. Loss of natural teeth that is Edentulism can occur due to many causes-periodontal diseases, caries, trauma, hereditary diseases. It can be complete if all the teeth in an arch are missing or partial if some of the teeth are missing in an arch. Prosthetic devices which are used to treat edentulism are called dentures. So, dentures are prosthesis which is constructed to replace lost natural teeth. Dentures gain support from oral hard and soft tissues. Loss of teeth leads to a phenomenon called Residual Ridge Resorption i.e. height and thickness of alveolar bone starts decreasing after the loss of natural teeth. Partial edentulism also leads to migration of adjacent as well as opposing teeth into the space created by lost natural teeth.

 What Are Dentures
 
So, lost teeth should be replaced as soon as possible to minimize the loss of alveolar bone and prevent the migration of teeth. The main aim of denture construction is to restore function, esthetics, proper speech and to minimize the loss of alveolar bone. A denture can replace full set of natural teeth in an arch- complete denture or it may replace some of the teeth missing in a particular arch- partial denture.  Dentures are typically made out of acrylic resin and at times may incorporate porcelain or metal for additional structural support.

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