If you’ve lost a tooth or two over the years, your self-esteem and quality of life have likely suffered from each missing tooth. Thankfully, you have more options than ever to treat tooth loss. Partials and bridges are the most traditional solutions to replace lost teeth. Although they may seem similar, they are quite unique. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between partial dentures and dental bridges to rebuild your smile.
What are Dental Bridges?
A bridge closes the gap in your smile using artificial teeth. It’s a suitable solution to replicate one or more consecutive lost teeth, but you must have good oral health. Particularly, the adjacent teeth will need to be strong enough to support the bridge.
If your dentist determines you’re a candidate for a bridge, they’ll prepare your abutment teeth to allow dental crowns to be fitted over them. After your mouth has been prepared, they’ll take a digital impression to create prosthetic teeth that match the color, size, and shape of those you’ve lost.
Your bridge will be held in place by cementing dental crowns to the neighboring teeth. You’ll enjoy a treatment that mimics your real teeth while lasting for about a decade before needing to be replaced.
As an alternative to a traditional bridge and crowns, you can also use 1-2 dental implants to stabilize your new smile. You won’t need to permanently alter healthy teeth, and dental implants can thrive for decades.
What are Partial Dentures?
Significant tooth loss is often resolved using a partial denture, but you must have a couple of healthy teeth for it to clasp in place. It works by filling in the spaces of the teeth you’ve lost, like a jigsaw puzzle. It can be used to treat consecutive and nonconsecutive tooth loss.
A partial consists of prosthetic teeth carefully placed in a gum-colored base, which has a metal frame that allows it to clip or clasp onto your remaining teeth to hold it in place. On average, a partial will last for about 5 years before needing a new one.
Depending on which teeth you’re missing, you can also replace them using a combination of single-unit implants and implant-supported bridges. You’ll enjoy a solution that closely looks and feels like your real teeth.
Which is the Best Option for Me?
Your dentist will perform a thorough consultation and learn more about your lifestyle to determine which option will meet your needs and expectations. They’ll create a personalized plan using either a bridge or partial. They’ll also explain the benefits of adding dental implants to support your new smile, so you understand all your options.
Don’t spend another day living with the challenges of an incomplete smile. Schedule a consultation with your dentist today.
About Dr. Geoffrey Iverson
Dr. Iverson earned his dental degree at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. He has completed advanced training in general dentistry to resolve complex oral health issues, like tooth loss. He embraces state-of-the-art technology to create durable and aesthetically-pleasing replacement teeth. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for a beautiful smile.