If you are missing one or more teeth, you have a number of options when selecting the replacement treatment best for you. When considering dentures versus bridges, you should evaluate which will provide you with optimal oral health and dental hygiene based on your needs and lifestyle.
Every tooth in your mouth is vital to maintaining proper alignment, and spaces left behind by one or more missing teeth can have an effect on your bite, speech, smile, and face shape. Missing teeth can cause your remaining teeth to shift and cause problems with your bite. To preserve your oral health and dental hygiene, you should weigh your options when it comes to tooth replacement treatments and choose the procedure that meets your needs.
Dentures Versus Bridges
When deciding between partial dentures and bridges, consider how each will work with your remaining teeth. Both fill spaces, prevent teeth from shifting, and improve your ability to chew and talk, but depending on the structure of your teeth, both function differently and require unique upkeep which will affect your ultimate decision.
Partial dentures are made to be removable and replace multiple missing teeth. A partial denture is constructed by a molded plate, usually made of pink acrylic to mimic your gums, affixed with replacement teeth. Depending on your needs, your dentist will choose to design a partial denture made from a metal framework of clasps or precision attachments connecting the plate to your natural teeth.
- Adjusting to eating and speaking with your partial denture will be awkward at first, but after the adjustment period you will become accustomed to it.
- Learning how to insert, remove, and clean partial dentures takes some time. Your dentist will have tips and instructions to aid you in this process.
Dental bridges, sometimes called fixed partial dentures, act as a restorative bridge across a gap made by missing teeth. They are made to be permanent by cementing or bonding an artificial tooth (called a pontic) to natural teeth, teeth prepared with crowns, or implants next to the space. The teeth prepared on either side will act as supports for the false teeth between them. Depending on what your dentist suggests, the artificial teeth can be created using gold, alloys, or porcelain.
- Because bridges are created to be a permanent fixture, they can only be removed by a dentist. In making the choice for a bridge, you should also choose to make the health of your supporting teeth a priority in order to keep the bridge strong and clean.
Which is best for me?
Have your dentist evaluate your needs, as partial dentures are used if there are a larger number of teeth that need to be replaced and if there is a risk of more tooth loss while bridges work best for smaller gaps on the same side of your mouth. Additionally, partial dentures are easier to adjust and repair and are usually less expensive. However, partial dentures can become broken or lost while bridges remain safely fixed to your teeth.
In either case, as you are making the decision between dentures versus bridges, it is very important to speak with your dental professional. Contact Arkansas Family Dental if you have questions about dentures or bridges. You can also schedule an appointment with either Dr. Nichols or Dr. Mascagni for help deciding between your tooth replacement options.