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Dental Bridge or Partial Dentures: Which is Best for Me?

January 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsmiley @ 5:27 pm
An assortment of tooth restorations on a blue background

It’s unfortunately common to lose one or more teeth over the years, but you don’t have to live with gaps in your smile forever. Your dentist has multiple methods to fill in the spaces left behind by multiple missing teeth, like dental bridges and partial dentures. How do you know, though, which restoration is right for you?

The answer, of course, depends on your unique circumstances so you’ll need a consultation with your dentist first. Then, you’ll want to be well-informed about the options to make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn more about both treatments to make the right choice when the time comes!

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge consists of several pontics, or false teeth, that are custom-created to fill in the gap left behind by one or more missing pearly whites in a row. Traditionally, it includes a dental crown on either side that anchors over your natural teeth. In some cases, though, dental implants are used as the abutments (supports), instead. Either way, it’s bonded in place and therefore is considered a permanent installation.

What are Partial Dentures?

Partial dentures are made of several fake teeth set in a gum-colored acrylic base held in place with metal clips. Just like full dentures, these can be removed to be cleaned and then reinserted. They are a popular solution that is considered to be highly convenient and cost-effective.

When is a Dental Bridge Best?

Dental bridges rely on healthy teeth or dental implants to hold your false teeth in place, so they might not be right for you if yours are damaged or decayed. Plus, your dentist will need to ground down and reshape the healthy abutment teeth for your restoration to fit correctly. This change is irreversible so it’s important you fully understand what’s involved.

Also, your dentist will work with you to clear up any gum disease before proceeding with this treatment because once your dental bridge is placed, you can’t remove it. Fortunately, ongoing maintenance is as simple as brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day the way you do already.

When are Partial Dentures Best?

Partial dentures don’t require making permanent changes to healthy teeth, which appeals to many patients. The metal clips can hold onto your existing pearly whites regardless of their condition. If you’re not sure you’re ready to have false teeth bonded in place, then this is a great option. You’ll be able to remove your dentures to clean them as well as to give your mouth a break at night.

That said, partial dentures are generally not as strong as dental bridges and may need to be repaired or replaced more frequently.

Only you and your dentist can decide how to refurbish your grin. Either way, you’ll soon have the beautifully restored smile that you deserve!

About the Author

Dr. Jonathan Smiley is an experienced dentist who provides a full range of oral health services for patients of all ages under one roof, including options to replace missing teeth. He attended the University of Illinois for his undergraduate education and then pursued his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. He uses state-of-the-art technology for accurate, long-lasting solutions that enhance patient comfort. If you’d like a consultation, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (319) 352-2270.

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