While there are many reasons for the loss of natural teeth, there has typically only been one way of replacing multiple teeth easily: The removable dental prosthetics known as dentures. These devices are customized to fit a patient's mouth and gumline, providing the appearance of a full set of teeth.Fortunately for most patients, the dental…
Ways Partial Dentures Differ from Bridges
Two of the most common options for replacing one or a few missing teeth are partial dentures and dental bridges. Losing a tooth can be upsetting – it does not just affect the smile’s appearance, but also dental functions like speaking and chewing. Eventually, without filling the gap, the remaining teeth may begin to shift. This may disrupt the teeth’s alignment, which means nothing but trouble. While the two replacement options might appear identical, there are crucial differences you need to know before deciding on the most suitable choice.
An overview of dental bridges
A dental bridge comprises one or more prosthetic teeth connected by a dental crown on both sides. The two crowns are placed over existing teeth (abutment teeth) closest to the gap so that they can support the artificial teeth replacement. The bridge is permanent and unremovable by the patient because the dentist will bond the crowns onto the abutment teeth.
If the natural teeth are not present or strong enough to support the bridge, the dentist may suggest placing a dental implant to stabilize the bridge. Dental bridges are available in different materials – including gold and metal alloys – but porcelain is the most popular, which is customizable to match the color of the patient’s natural teeth. Since dental bridges are fixed permanently, there is no change to the patient’s oral hygiene routine, nor is there any diet restriction.
Overview of partial dentures
The most noticeable difference between partial dentures and bridges is that partials are removable by the patient. The appliance comprises prosthetic teeth (one or multiple) bonded to a small section of artificial gum-looking material (usually acrylic) and finished with a wireframe fitted with clasps that connect to the natural teeth on the sides of the gap. Like complete dentures, patients need to remove partials before sleeping and for cleaning. It might be hard to eat certain foods if the partial denture is poorly fitting and shifts in the mouth.
Making the decision
Although dental bridges and partial dentures are both effective, a partial is a more common option for patients who have lost multiple teeth in a row. On the other hand, a bridge is often suggested for replacing one or two teeth. Another major factor is the dentist’s projection of the patient’s dental health. If there is a chance of future tooth loss, it would not be advisable to affix a restoration to existing teeth. In that case, the dentist will recommend the partial denture instead.
Although this article provides basic information that you should know, there are other factors concerning your oral health that you also need to note when deliberating on a tooth replacement option. Therefore, it is advisable to talk to the general dentist to know which is suitable for your condition. Note that any option the dental professional recommends will be suited for your condition, whether partial dentures or bridges. If you have additional questions about these teeth restoration procedures, feel free to contact the dental office and book an appointment.
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