Patients can become entirely edentulous (without teeth) for many reasons, the most prevalent being removal because of dental disease typically relating to oral flora control, i.e., periodontal disease and tooth decay. Other reasons include tooth developmental defects caused by severe malnutrition, genetic defects such as dentinogenesis imperfecta, trauma, or drug use.
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth; they are supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable (removable partial denture or complete denture). However, there are many denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants (fixed prosthodontics). There are two main categories of dentures, the distinction being whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or on the maxillary arch.