Do You Need a Partial or a Bridge?

Dental Partial

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If you have one or more teeth missing, you have more than one option when it comes to selecting the best replacement solution for you. If you are considering bridges and dentures, then you should evaluate which of the two will provide you with optimal oral health benefits and dental hygiene according to your lifestyle and dental needs.

Each and every tooth in your mouth plays a vital role in maintaining the proper alignment of teeth. When the spaces are not filled that are left behind due to tooth loss, big problems can arise. From bone loss to shifting and shape changes of the jaw itself; if you are missing a tooth it is imperative that you seek professional help to discuss the best replacement options for you.

Bridges versus Partial Dentures

When you are deciding between a bridge or partial denture, you must consider how well each will work with your remaining teeth. Both of the solutions will work to prevent movement within the mouth, as well as to improve the function of the mouth by restoring the ability to speak and chew. But, ultimately which solution will work best for you will depend largely on the structure of your existing teeth and overall oral health.

Partial dentures may prove to be the best solution if you have a large number of teeth missing that need to be replaced. Also, if there is a high probability that you will experience further tooth loss, then your dentist may recommend a partial denture over a bridge. Bridges will work best if you have a small gap on the same side of the mouth that needs filling. Partial dentures are generally easier to adjust and repair and are usually less expensive than bridges. However, partial dentures can more easily become lost or broken, while a bridge will remain safely intact, as it is a fixed replacement solution as opposed to removable.

In either case, if you are faced with the decision to choose a partial denture over a bridge as a replacement option, it is important to discuss both options with your dentist.

Unhappy With Your Dentures? You Have Other Options.

Many people—especially those accustomed to using their natural teeth—dislike the way their dentures feel and look. In years past, people who lost their teeth had few options besides either getting dentures or just doing without. Fortunately, strides in technology have allowed the development of some alternatives to dentures.

What are dentures, anyway?

A common misconception is that dentures replace your teeth. This is actually untrue: dentures are used when you don’t have any teeth. They are essentially false teeth affixed to a plastic plate that fits over the gums. They can be awkward to wear and, depending on how they are built, they can interfere with your ability to enjoy food.

Alternatives to dentures

One alternative to traditional dentures is dentures that snap into place over the gum. This allows the removal of the large plastic “plate” that is traditionally associated with dentures, restoring your ability to taste and speak as you normally would. This can be done by using a few dental implants to act as anchors for the dentures and then affixing the dentures to the implants.

If you want to have more realistic-looking and feeling teeth, you have the option of getting implants that will look, feel, and operate like real teeth. This procedure is a little bit more intensive and does take several visits to accomplish, but the end result is well worth it.

When getting implants, your dentist will first install several metal rods into your gums. He or she will affix temporary teeth to these rods to allow you to eat while the final product is prepared. Later on, your dentist will remove the temporary teeth and install a bridge onto the implanted rods. This bridge will look, feel, and function like a normal set of teeth. Unlike dentures, it does not need to be removed each evening.

The process of getting a full bridge can take 2-3 visits to be completed. While it is more costly than a traditional set of dentures, and installation takes more time, the end result is clearly superior and is virtually indistinguishable from real teeth.