Whenever someone loses their teeth and needs teeth replacement, dentures—being the most traditional option—are often the treatment patients choose. However, many people do not like the way dentures feel. For those patients, there are dental implant alternatives that do much of the same work as traditional dentures. Find out which works best for you, bridges or partials?
Bridges or Partials: Which One Is Best for You?
Both bridges and partials are viable, aesthetic tooth replacement options that are both comfortable and convenient. Furthermore, the process to place them is no more complicated than a dental crown. It involves only a couple dental visits to prep the teeth and fit the porcelain bridges or partials. Patients may experience minimal, if no discomfort at all.
A partial denture, or partial plate, is a removable clip-on piece that contains more than one tooth and acts much like a retainer. They’re often made of metal and plastic, but they also come in acrylic or porcelain.
Partial dentures vary subtly in design from patient to patient. Your dentist will fit partials for your personal needs. In any case, a partial denture has to work where teeth remain, just as dentures are applied where there are none.
Here are some of the benefits of partial dentures:
- Partials are easy to place in your mouth
- You can add to them later if additional teeth are needed
- They restore comfort while eating and speaking
- They greatly improve the appearance of the mouth
- They’re easy to adapt to
A bridge is a row of connected false teeth with crowns on each end. Similar to the process of crowns, the dentist will fit the crown ends snug over the teeth. They are then permanently sealed, giving you a row of perfect teeth.
There are several types of dental bridges:
- Traditional: This is the most common type of dental bridges. They’re typically made of ceramic, or porcelain and metal. These involve crowns being placed on both ends of the bridge and a false tooth between them.
- Bonded: Also known as resin bridges, bonded bridges are made up of porcelain and metal.
- Cantilever: When there’s only one natural tooth instead of two surrounding, this type of bridge is often necessary.
Dental bridges often take around two dental office visits to complete, depending on the patient and the amount of work being done. During the first visit, your dentist may use local anesthesia to prepare and reshape the teeth. Then, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, so he or she can accurately measure it and make preparations specific to you. Then, you’ll get a temporary.
On the next visit, your dentist will remove the temporary, and you’ll receive your permanent dental bridge. Your dentist will then place a custom-fit bridge and make last-minute tooth adjustments before cementing it down.
Dental bridges have many of the same benefits as partials:
- Replacing missing teeth accurately and attractively
- Preventing remaining teeth from moving or shifting
- Restoring function to your teeth, making chewing and speaking easier
- Reducing bone loss
- Permanency: You won’t have to worry about taking them out
Which Is Better?
Whether you choose bridges or partials is completely dependent on your particular situation. Your dentist may recommend one of them over the other, and you could suggest to him or her what you’d prefer. In either case, they’re both excellent denture alternatives and effective tooth correction measures.
Talk to your dentist to weigh the benefits and determine which of them is right for you.