What are Removable Complete and Partial Dentures?

Removable complete dentures replace all the missing teeth in either the upper or lower jaw or both jaws. Removable partial dentures replace one or multiple missing teeth when the patient has existing natural teeth supporting the partial denture. Dental implants can also retain complete and partial dentures in some cases.

One consideration about removable complete dentures is that the retention and stability of this type of prosthesis are limited by the amount and shape of the remaining bone and tissue supporting the denture. In some cases, it is necessary to use denture adhesive gel or powder to aid retention. The lower denture is usually not as retentive and stable as the upper denture due to the smaller area covered by the denture and tongue movement.

Getting used to eating and talking with new dentures can take time, patience, and practice for some patients. The chewing efficiency with removable complete dentures is much lower than with natural teeth. Still, with time, most patients will learn to eat more comfortably by cutting food into smaller pieces and chewing on both sides of their mouths.


What are the symptoms or indications?

  • Missing all or multiple teeth in one or both jaws.
  • Severe generalized dental decay or periodontal disease resulting in treatment recommendations to extract the affected teeth.
  • Replacing a broken or defective removable complete or removable partial denture.


Where can I learn more?

For additional information, please visit the following websites:


Contact Us

If you are concerned that you are in need of a removable complete or partial denture, please schedule an appointment for a free screening exam at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine at (303) 724-6900.

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