Dental Bridges and Removable Dentures

If you're missing one or more teeth, you may be considering options to replace them and restore your smile. Common options are dental implants (hyperlink to implant), removable dentures, and dental bridges. Both removable dentures and dental bridges are effective options for replacing missing teeth, but they differ in a few key ways.

Here's what you need to know about removable dentures and dental bridges:

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are fixed prosthetic devices designed to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth that are attached to a metal or ceramic frame. The frame is then bonded to the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap, using dental cement.

Dental bridges are custom-made to fit your mouth and are designed to look and feel like natural teeth.

  1. They can be a good option for people who want a more permanent solution to replace missing teeth,

  2. and who have healthy adjacent teeth that can support the bridge.

Here are the general steps involved in the dental bridge procedure:

  1. Preparing the Teeth: To prepare for the dental bridge, your dentist will need to reshape the teeth on either side of the gap, which will serve as the anchor teeth for the bridge. This involves removing a small amount of enamel to make room for the bridge.
  2. Impressions: Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which will be used to create a custom bridge that fits your mouth perfectly. The impressions will be sent to a dental lab, where the bridge will be created.
  3. Fitting the Bridge: Once the permanent bridge is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and fit the permanent bridge in place. They will check the fit and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the bridge is comfortable and effective. Once the fit is perfect, your dentist will bond the bridge in place using dental cement. They will use a special light to harden the cement and secure the bridge in place.

Maintenance for Dental Bridges

  1. Practice good oral hygiene Brush and floss your teeth regularly, taking care to clean around the bridge.

  2. Avoid hard or sticky foods Hard or sticky foods can damage the bridge or dislodge it from your teeth. Avoid biting down on hard objects or chewing on sticky candy or gum.

Common disadvantages of dental bridges

  1. Requires Altering Adjacent Teeth
    To support the bridge, your dentist will need to reshape the adjacent teeth to make room for the bridge. This can weaken these teeth and increase the risk of decay or other dental problems.

  2. Potential for Decay and Gum Disease
    Like natural teeth, dental bridges can be susceptible to decay and gum disease if not properly cared for. It's important to maintain good oral hygiene and attend regular dental check-ups to prevent these issues.

  3. Limited Longevity
    While dental bridges can last for several years with proper care, they may eventually need to be replaced. The lifespan of a dental bridge can vary depending on several factors, including the type of bridge and the individual's oral health.

Removable Dentures

Removable dentures are prosthetic devices designed to replace multiple missing teeth. They consist of a gum-colored base that is made to fit over your gums, and artificial teeth that are attached to the base. Removable dentures can be either full or partial, depending on the number of teeth you need to replace.

Removable dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth and are held in place using suction or a mild adhesive. They can be easily removed for cleaning and maintenance and can be a good option for people who are not good candidates for dental implants or dental bridges.

Adaptation to new dentures

It can take some time to adjust to wearing dentures, and some people may experience difficulty eating and speaking while they get used to them. Dentures can feel bulky or uncomfortable in the mouth and may slip or move around while eating or speaking.

Regular Maintenance

Dentures require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other harmful substances. This can include daily cleaning and soaking in a special solution to keep them clean and fresh.

Attend follow-up appointments

Over time, dentures may need to be replaced or adjusted to ensure a proper fit and function. This can be costly and may require additional dental appointments.