Restorative Dentistry: dental bridges or partial dentures, which is right for me?

Every tooth in your mouth plays a vital role in maintaining your bite, speech, face shape and smile. They also support one another, and when one is missing, it creates a gap that leaves your mouth at risk of a number of other problems including increased likelihood of decay and gum disease, shifting teeth and more. If have single or multiple teeth that have fallen out of their own accord, or that require extraction due to damage or decay, then you may be given several options with regards to replacement. Two of the most common replacement treatments are a dental bridge or a partial denture, but what’s the difference? To help you decide which is right for you, let’s find out more about each of them.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures. They are a restorative solution that literally bridges any gap left by tooth loss or extraction. However, once in place they are permanent, cemented in using special dental adhesive. This makes them extremely secure and reduces the likelihood of them slipping during eating or talking, and boosting the patients’ confidence in social and professional situations.

Dental bridges work by using natural teeth on either side of the gap as anchors, securing the false teeth in between firmly in place. The artificial teeth can be created in a variety of materials including porcelain, alloy or gold and prices vary depending on the material chosen.

Bridges tend to be recommended more for smaller gaps on one side of your mouth. As they can’t be removed to be cleaned, your dentist will be able to show you the best way to effectively clean your dental bridge to ensure it is well maintained and continues to help protect your oral health.

Partial Dentures

The main difference between bridges and partial dentures is that dentures are removable. A partial denture is constructed from a (usually pink) acrylic molded plate which has replacement teeth attached in the pre-determined locations to fill you’re the gaps in your smile once it is secured firmly in place. Dentures are usually attached to your existing teeth using special clasps or attachments, which help to hold it in place while you are wearing it. Most patients then remove their partial dentures for cleaning, sleeping and even eating some foods.

Wearing a partial denture can feel strange at first and it will take a while to feel completely comfortable speaking and eating while wearing it. However, most patients find that after the initial adjustment phase, they barely notice that they are wearing their dentures.

Maintaining a robust oral care routine is still important when you have dentures. Not only will you have to look after your natural teeth, but your dentist will also show you the best way to clean your dentures, as well as how to remove and insert them.

The main concern noted by patients with partial dentures is that they are well known for slipping, particularly when eating. Patients often find themselves avoiding chewy, sticky or tough foods as they are more likely to pull out the dentures or make them slip, drawing attention to them.

If you have missing teeth and are contemplating different solutions, Dr. Sam would be happy to assist you in making the right decision for your dental requirements. Get in touch with the team to arrange an appointment.

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