When no teeth at all are left in the mouth (in either upper or lower jaw), then the prosthesis to be made it is called Full Denture.
The Full Denture is a construction made by red acrylic or similar material (acetalyc) which covers and contours itself over the mucosa (gums). On top of this plate, porcelain or plastic prefabricated teeth are positioned, and the denture is completed after the clinical and laboratory process.
The retention and stability of a denture depends upon the existing level of bone, which is covered by the gums. In many cases the retention and stability of the denture is not satisfactory. This is happening because the inbalanced movement of the denture creates capillary vessels stasis, thus more bone resorbtion.The resorbtion of the bone is followed by more gum recession and less retention and stability of the denture.
An alternative solution to the full denture, is the use of implants.
The Partial denture is also a construction made by red acrylic or similar material (acetalyc) which covers and contours itself over the mucosa (gums). It is supported in existing teeth, replacing the missing teeth in a way which provides sufficient stability.
There are several parameters considered in the design of a partial denture, that have to do with the position of the existing teeth. In many cases, we apply a combination of a bridge and a partial denture.
The partial denture gets support and retention from the existing teeth, where it rests upon. This connection is done in several ways, clasps, precision attachments etc. All these factors depend on the particular case.