If you’ve lost a number of your teeth, and want to ensure your bite is properly in line, you need to choose a way to replace them. It is not just important for cosmetic reasons, but also for ensuring that the teeth you still have do not move. One option is partial dentures that can be removed. However, a permanent bridge may be a much better option if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with something that has to be taken out every so often.
To help you make your decision though, we will look at some of the main pros and cons of each option.
First, partial dentures.
What are they?
These consist of moulded plates to your replacements. Because they have that plate, they can be effectively used to replace some off the gum lost. To connect the new dentures to the existing teeth, there are small metal attachments. they can be removed to make it easier to clean them and the mouth. Partial dentures are often the ideal choice when there are multiple teeth that need to be replaced.
Pros of Partial Dentures
They are the best option if the other teeth are not in good condition and may be replaced, leaving nothing to anchor them to
They are also the best option if you have teeth missing on either side of your mouth
They are the ideal choice if you have suffered gum loss or gum disease
If you have medical conditions or a history of smoking, they are also ideal
They are much easier to clean because they can be removed, and are far more cost-effective
Compared to permanent replacements, that last as much as 15 years or even more, partial dentures tend to only last for as much as five years, meaning they have to be replaced more often
They are also not considered to be particularly comfortable compared to permanent varieties
People find it embarrassing to have to remove them before sleeping or cleaning them
Now, what about bridges?
What are bridges?
Dental bridges consist of replacement teeth which are cemented into place on your gum line using your healthy existing teeth as anchors holding it into place. With this in mind, bridges usually work best when there is only a limited number of missing teeth close to each other.
A bridge consists of just one or more artificial teeth and replaces them, and crowns used to cover those teeth that are directly next to those that are replaced. A dentist will prep your teeth at either side of where your bridge is going to go, and that usually consists of filing them down, then sends an impression of your teeth and the space left behind in order to create a suitable bridge.
Pros of Bridges
Bridges generally last a lot longer than partial dentures, with many of them lasting as much as 15 years.
They also feel and look similar and more natural to real teeth
They also have the benefit of not having to be removed for cleaning
As bridges are made created using an adhesive to bond replacement teeth to the existing teeth, the teeth that remain need to be strong and healthy and have no underlying damage to the gums in order to help maintain the bridge and keep it secure.
AS the shape of remaining teeth often needs to be changed and also covered with crowns in order to attach bridges, this can put many patients off.
They are much more expensive than the removable alternatives
Implants are Another Option
Dental implants are another option that have become incredibly popular if there is only one tooth missing and many people feel they look and feel more realistic than other replacements for teeth. Dental implants are a type of crown made from porcelain that is generally connected by titanium screws as a replacement not just for the tooth itself, but the root and then bonds to the jawbone. They are different to bridges in that the dental implant is actually imbedded and does not need an attachment to the teeth on either side. Also, compared to bridges and partial dentures, dental implants are seen as being virtually permanent and usually do not need to be replaced. That is, if they are looked after properly and make use of a good oral hygiene routine. However, dental implants are only suitable for people with overall gums and jaws.