Bridges and Dentures: Comparing the two options!

It’s no secret that missing teeth can affect your self-confidence. But thanks to restorative dentistry, you may be able to find out if prosthetic teeth are correct for you! In addition, there is always an option to replace missing teeth with bridges or dentures. All you need to do is make the right choice depending on what works best with your lifestyle preferences and budget.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge is a replacement for a single or more missing teeth. It is made up of an artificial tooth (pontic) anchored on either side by dental crowns. The pontic is usually made from porcelain to match the rest of your teeth and give you a natural-looking smile. Bridges are typically used when fewer than three teeth are missing in a row.

Types of dental bridges

  • Traditional bridges: This is the most common type of bridge and is made up of a pontic anchored on either side by dental crowns. The pontic is usually made from porcelain to match the rest of your teeth and give you a natural-looking smile.
  • Cantilever bridges: These are typically used when adjacent teeth are on only one side of the missing tooth/teeth.
  • Maryland bridges: Also known as resin-bonded bridges, these use metal or porcelain wings that are bonded to the back of your existing teeth.

Pros and cons of dental bridges:

  • Bridges are a relatively affordable option for replacing missing teeth.
  • Bridges can be completed in as little as two dental appointments.
  • Bridges do not require special care and can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth.
  • Dental bridges are permanent, meaning they cannot be removed. This can make it difficult to clean the pontic, which can lead to decay or gum disease.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are another treatment option for replacing missing teeth, but they differ from bridges. Dentures are complete sets of false teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as needed. They consist of a pink base that suits your gums, along with the false teeth. Dentures can be used to replace all of your teeth (complete dentures) or just some of them (partial dentures).

Types of dentures

  • Full dentures: As the name suggests, full dentures are used to replace an entire arch of teeth. They are made of a pink base that suits your gums and false teeth. Full dentures are usually held in place by natural suction or dental adhesives.
  • Partial dentures: Partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of a pink base that attaches to your existing teeth and false teeth. Partial dentures are usually held in place by metal clasps or dental adhesives.

Pros & Cons of dentures

  • Dentures are usually more affordable than dental implants.
  • Dentures can be removed, making them easier to clean.
  • Dentures may require periodic adjustments as your mouth changes over time.
  • Dentures may slip or move around in your mouth, which can be uncomfortable or embarrassing.
  • Dentures may not look or feel as natural as real teeth.

The Difference Between Dentures and Bridges

The main difference between dentures and bridges is that dentures are removable while bridges are not. This means you can take your dentures out to clean them, but you cannot remove a bridge.

Another key difference is that bridges typically replace one or two missing teeth, while dentures are used to replace an entire row of teeth.

Finally, bridges are usually made from porcelain or ceramic, while dentures can be made from various materials, including porcelain, plastic, or metal.

Solve your doubts about Porcelain vs Composite veneers.

4 Easy Ways to Decide Between a Dental Bridge and Dentures

  1. Number of Missing Teeth: A bridge may be the best option if you are only missing one or two teeth. However, dentures would be a better choice if you are missing an entire row of teeth.
  2. Lifestyle: If you have an active lifestyle and do not want to worry about your teeth falling out, dentures may not be the best option. Bridges are much more secure and will not come out unless a dentist removes them.
  3. Budget: Dentures tend to be more affordable than bridges, so if cost is a factor, dentures may be the better option.
  4. Maintenance: Bridges require more maintenance than dentures because they cannot be removed and cleaned easily. Dentures may be the better choice if you are looking for a low-maintenance option.

Not sure which treatment is the best for you? Schedule an appointment with Timeless Smiles Dental dentist, who can help you make the right decision. Feel free to call on (02) 8073 8386 or email at dentistry@timelesssmiles.com.au.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are bridges cheaper than dentures?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of dental bridges and dentures will vary depending on factors such as the type of bridge or denture, the materials used, and the dentist’s rate. However, it is generally true that dental bridges are more expensive than dentures.

Dental bridges are a permanent solution to missing teeth, while dentures are removable and must be replaced every few years. Dental bridges also require more dentist time to create and fit correctly, which drives the cost. However, because dental bridges are a permanent solution, they often last longer than dentures and may be worth the extra cost in the long run.

What are the different types of bridges?

Dental bridges are divided into three types: fixed, removable and implant-supported.

Fixed dental bridges are the most popular type of bridge. They’re made of metal and ceramic, or all ceramic, and are attached to the teeth on either side of the gap with dental cement. This bridge is permanently fixed and can’t be removed without professional help.

Removable dental bridges, or “partial dentures”, are made from plastic or metal frameworks that fit over the missing teeth and are held in place by clasps that attach to nearby teeth. Partial dentures can be taken out for cleaning but must be worn for meals and during other activities to prevent the teeth from shifting out of position.

Implant-supported bridges are the most expensive type of bridge but offer the most stability and a natural look. This type of bridge uses dental implants that are surgically placed into the jawbone to support the bridge.

How many teeth can a bridge replace?

Bridges depend on healthy teeth on either side of the space being bridged to be effective. If the adjacent teeth are not healthy, then a bridge may not be the best option. Dental treatments, such as implants or dentures, may be more appropriate in these cases.

The number of teeth that can be replaced with a bridge depends on the type of bridge. A traditional bridge can replace anywhere from two to four teeth, while a cantilever bridge can replace only one tooth.

If a significant amount of bone needs to be replaced or if the teeth are very crooked, then a dental implant might be a better option. Implants involve surgically placing a titanium post in the jawbone and attaching the replacement tooth to it. Dental implants are considered more permanent than bridges and tend to last longer.

Also, a dental bridge can only be used to replace teeth that have already been lost. It cannot be used to prevent future tooth loss.

How does a bridge look in your mouth?

There are two types of bridges – fixed and removable. A fixed bridge is permanently attached to the adjacent teeth with dental implants or crowns. A removable bridge is not connected to teeth but sits in a plastic tray that fits over the gums.

A bridge may look different depending on its type and how it is fabricated. Generally, however, a bridge will look like a row of teeth spanning the space between two missing teeth. It will be made from materials that match the colour of your natural teeth and will be shaped and sized to fit comfortably in your mouth.

How do you maintain a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a false tooth or pontic fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the space of a missing tooth. Natural teeth or implants usually support a dental bridge. To maintain a dental bridge, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene habits and to visit your dental care provider regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

Good oral hygiene habits include:

  • Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing daily.
  • Using an interdental brush or water flosser to clean around the pontic and crowns.
  • Be sure to clean under the pontic, using a toothpick or other tool recommended by your dentist.

It is also essential to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist will check for any signs of decay or gum disease and can clean around the pontic and crowns. They may also recommend dental sealants to help protect the teeth from decay.

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