When someone mentions the word “dentures”, what people usually envision is the stereotypical complete set of teeth in a glass of water on a bedside table. While this is indeed an example of what dentures are, this is not the only kind of dentures one can get. There are many different variants for you to choose from, depending on what you need, or what your dentist recommends.

The kind of dentures you will need depends on how many teeth you have lost. Here are the four general types you might find yourself getting if you lose teeth due to decay or trauma:

Complete or Full Dentures – If you have lost all your teeth, or are getting all of them removed due to decay, what you will probably be getting is complete dentures. These are dentures that are used to replace all of your upper and lower teeth. These are often made using plastic or acrylic, and rests on a person’s gum.

Partial Dentures – This type of dentures is used to fill the gaps in your teeth. These can be used to not only do this, but to also keep your remaining teeth from moving and becoming crooked. Partial dentures are anchored to your natural teeth with the help of metal attachments and with a plastic base in the color of your gums.

Immediate Dentures – This is a temporary set of dentures placed over a patient’s gums immediately after teeth are extracted, and waiting for either partial or complete ones to be made. A person’s jaws and gums take time to heal, sometimes for as long as a few months. These temporary dentures are worn to aid a person in eating and to return to a normal life while waiting for the right time for them to get their permanent dentures fitted properly and made.

Over Dentures – This is an option for people who still have a few teeth that do not need to be extracted. Similar to full or complete dentures, over dentures use these few remaining teeth as anchors to stabilize the dentures. This makes it easier for you to chew.

Getting dentures is something you do when you need to replace missing teeth. This will help you improve your smile, help you when you eat, and help you speak clearly. These can also help keep other teeth from shifting, and will give you a youthful and healthy look since they keep the muscles on your face from sagging.

As great as dentures may be for these particular reasons, there are also some disadvantages that come with wearing dentures. For one, if you are not used to these, you may find yourself suffering from mouth sores or irritation. These also need proper care since these are rather fragile and may break if not handled properly. You will also notice that chewing with dentures from the start is rather difficult and may also take a while to get used to.

If you have not lost all your teeth, you should be aware that dentures are not your only option for a complete smile. You can choose to have dental implants instead. You will have to ask your dentist about this particular option however since not all patients are ideal candidates for this alternative.