Partial Dentures or Bridge? Here are the Benefits of Each

There are usually multiple ways to solve a dental problem. One of the most common questions we get when it comes to replacing a missing tooth is whether the patient should get partial dentures or bridge work.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of each.

Dentures vs. Bridges

A missing tooth is nothing to smile about. After all, teeth need to work together in order to work effectively, and if you are missing a few members of the squad, it puts unnecessary strain on the rest of your “team”. When you lose a tooth, the teeth closest to the gap may even end up slanted or loose! This affects your bite and puts stress on your remaining teeth and jaw, causing pain and a build-up of bacteria.

Fortunately, if you are missing one (or multiple) teeth, there are plenty of options available to you so can regain the healthy smile of your youth. The two most popular treatments for missing teeth recommended by doctors are partial dentures or dental bridges. However, most people do not know the differences between the procedures, so we offer you this article to help make your decision. 

What are Partial Dentures?

Removable partial dentures (also called “false teeth” or simply “dentures”) are designed to fill the gap created by missing teeth through the installation of a life-like dental prosthesis, which “clips on” to your existing teeth. Seen as a more cost-effective, and nonintrusive, alternative to more involved procedures (like dental implants), dentures have been a popular treatment for decades.

What are Dental Bridges?

Like dentures, dental bridges replace teeth (or a single tooth) by filling the gaps in your smile. Bridges can restore your bite and maintain the general bone structure of your face. A dental bridge is an oral prosthesis, used to fill any gaps in your smile where one or more teeth are missing. Bridges are typically supported by a crown on either side of the apparatus.

Unlike dentures, receiving a bridge may require some minor dental surgery; since the doctor may need to reshape the teeth receiving a crown to ensure they are able to support the replacement teeth.

Benefits:

Partial Dentures:

  • Removable partial dentures are seen as a less invasive option than bridges or dental implants, which often require minor oral surgery and multiple trips to your doctor.
  • Partials are easy to manipulate by your doctor, so if you need even more teeth replaced after receiving your first denture, the dentist can make the appropriate alterations relatively easily.
  • They make it more comfortable to chew food, talk, and give you the confidence to smile again!
  • Dentures protect your gums and prevent your teeth from drifting, which helps to the overall health of your mouth because missing teeth are a breeding ground of bacteria.
  • You can receive a partial denture to replace a few missing teeth, or full dentures to replace an entire row.
  • They are removable and easy to clean.

Bridges:

  • Bridges are semi-permanent restorative prosthetics that do not need to be removed to be cleaned.
  • Patients report that bridges tend to be more comfortable.
  • They look and feel more natural.
  • Only require a few appointments with your dentist.
  • Bridges last much longer than dentures with proper care.

Which is Better, Partial Dentures or Bridge?

The answer to this question relies most heavily on the unique conditions of your teeth, your lifestyle, as well as your budget. Although bridges may, at first glance, be the more attractive option – many people find that partial dentures are the best “bang for their buck”. We recommend discussing both options with a qualified dentist near you, such as Dr. Farless – North Carolinas premier oral health professional.