Partial dentures are a removable option for replacing just one or a few lost teeth. Partial dentures fit over your gums, and are secured by suction and to neighboring teeth by clasps or hooks.
Because they sit on your gums like full dentures, they may not be as comfortable or secure as other tooth replacement options. They may slip out of place when you talk, laugh, or eat.
Dental bridges are sometimes called “fixed dentures,” because they are essentially dentures that are fixed in your mouth. They are made up of multiple false teeth that are designed to fit over your natural teeth on one or both sides.
Dental bridges are a good tooth replacement option, but they do have some drawbacks. They are secured by dental crowns on your natural teeth, which means that your natural teeth have to be modified, which means otherwise healthy teeth may be weakened.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are implanted into your jawbone. They essentially become part of your jawbone, just like your natural teeth were. They can be used to support a single artificial tooth, a dental bridge, or even a full set of implant dentures!
Dental implants require that you have a good amount of jawbone present to secure the implant, which means it’s best to choose them soon after tooth loss, before your body begins removing jawbone material that it perceives as unnecessary. Dental implants may also not be an option if you suffer from periodontal disease.