When you lose your teeth, your dentist may replace them with dentures, and there are more options than you might realize. Knowing what's available helps you make an informed decision when planning your dental care, so here are some types of dentures to know about.
A partial plate is used to replace one or more missing teeth, but not all of your teeth. The partial has some artificial teeth on it to replace the teeth that are missing. It fits around your remaining teeth so your natural teeth can hold the denture in place.
Full plates are probably what you imagine when you think about dentures. These are used when all of your teeth are removed. Since there are no natural teeth left to help hold the plates in place, your dentist might recommend getting implants to hold them securely.
Overdenture is a term used for dentures that rest on your natural teeth that remain or on implants. These are removable plates that need to be taken out and cleaned. The advantage of an overdenture is you can keep some of your natural teeth to help preserve bone.
Immediate dentures are put in right after your teeth are pulled. These aren't custom-made, so the fit may not be perfect. They're temporary and are worn for several weeks while your permanent plates are made. Since your gums may swell and then heal while you wear these plates, the dentist might need to realign them after a few weeks so they fit well as your gums heal.
Snap-on dentures rest on implants. The plates snap on and off so you can take the plates out to clean them. Since the plates snap onto implants, they are secured in your mouth so you can eat much better than you can without implants.
Fixed dentures also attach to implants, but these can't be removed at home. Your dentist can remove them if necessary, otherwise, you wear them all the time. They are the most like natural teeth since you don't have to take them out at night.
The option you and your dentist choose depends on how many natural teeth you have left and your budget. At the very least, you need a full set of teeth so you can eat and chew. However, adding implants is a good choice since the implants hold the upper and lower plates in place securely so you don't need to worry about the plates falling out when you laugh or chew. Contact a dentist for more information about dentures.