When you have damaged or missing teeth it has a significant impact on your health and your self-esteem. A smile is often one of the first things someone will notice about you, but having healthy teeth and gums also ensures that you can chew and speak properly. Unfortunately we only get one set of adult teeth, and they don’t always last a lifetime. Whether you lose your teeth as a result of decay or other traumatic injury, it’s important to find the right option to replace your natural teeth.
There are a few different options to consider for replacement teeth:
If you’re thinking about dental implants and want to compare them to dentures, you can check out this blog post all about that topic (implants can be an option for just a single tooth, or implant-supported dentures offer options to replace a full row of teeth or all your teeth). In this blog, we’re going to discuss the differences between partial dentures and dental bridges.
Understanding Dentures and Bridges
Before you decide which one is best, it’s helpful to understand the key differences between partial dentures and bridges.
- Partial dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth that can replace one or two teeth, or a full row of teeth (top or bottom).
- Dental bridges are a replacement tooth or teeth that are anchored to the surrounding teeth and cannot be removed
Deciding Which is Right for You
Choosing which option is best for your teeth replacement is often based on a few different factors. First, your dentist will determine how many teeth you need to have replaced. Next your dentist will determine whether the surrounding teeth are still healthy enough to support a bridge. Finally, your dentist may ask about your specific habits and preferences—some people might not want a removable device if it can be avoided, for example.
A dental bridge is a great option when you have healthy teeth surrounding the missing tooth (or teeth) that are able to support the bridge and you want a fixed replacement. The dentist will take measurements to make a bridge that matches the surrounding teeth, and then place crowns on the adjacent teeth to support it.
Partial dentures are a good option if you prefer to have a removable tooth replacement, or if your dentist doesn’t think a permanent bridge can be placed safely using the surrounding teeth. You may also opt for a partial denture if you are considering a dental implant sometime in the future and don’t want to undergo a major procedure now.
Don’t Wait to Get Tooth Replacement
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, don’t wait to see a dentist. Your existing teeth might shift into the empty space, or you could end up with gum disease or TMJ issues. Schedule a time to speak with one of our dentists at Young Family Dental today to learn more about all your tooth replacement options.