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22 Apr

Bridges and Partial Dentures

When you are missing a tooth (or teeth), knowing your options is important. Two common dental solutions to help restore your smile include partial dentures and bridges. However, there are big differences between the two and it’s important to understand the distinctions before opting for treatment. Here, we explore more and cover some frequently asked questions.

What are partial dentures?

A partial denture is an appliance made of plastic, or a mixture of metal and plastic which has one or more false teeth. The plate is designed to clip onto the remaining teeth that surround the area where you have the gap. The combination appliance is more expensive than the plastic version, with the metal incorporated into the denture making the plate stronger, reducing the possibility of damage to your surrounding teeth.

What is a bridge?

This appliance is a section of false teeth that have a crown on either end. The crowns fit over your existing teeth to hold the false teeth in place. There are generally three types of bridge appliance:

  • Traditional:This is most common and made of porcelain and metal, or ceramics. This appliance is used the same way outlined above with a crown placed over the teeth on either end of the gap, and the false tooth positioned in between.
  • Cantilever:This may be used when there is only one surrounding tooth instead of two. Cantilevers aren’t very common and are not recommended for the back of the mouth due to the possibility of damage to other teeth.
  • Resin Bonded Bridges: These are usually made of porcelain, porcelain attached to metal, or plastic pieces bonded to a porcelain and metal base. The porcelain or metal wings that extend from the sides of the crown are adhered to the teeth surrounding the appliance.

Which is better – a partial denture or bridge?

Ultimately, everyone’s mouth is different, so this question is best answered by your dentist. Bridges can last up to fifteen years or more, whereas partial dentures generally last for around five years. If you are only missing one or two teeth, a bridge may be a better option. Partial dentures tend to be less expensive and are typically preferred if you are missing several teeth and at risk of further tooth loss. However, at Maida Smiles we will assess all options thoroughly before advising on any final decision offering the best solution at the best price, along with a comprehensive dental plan to ensure continued oral health.

What is the difference between a maxillary and mandibular partial denture?

As explained above, a partial is a dental prosthetic that allows for the placement of a series of artificial teeth in an area where healthy teeth used to exist. They can be made from a variety of materials, and can contain as many teeth as are missing in either jaw. Maxillary refers to the upper jaws and mandibular refers to the lower jaws.

Can you get a partial denture for one tooth?

Absolutely! If you are missing one or more teeth the two most common options are dental implants or partial dentures. When choosing whether to get a dental implant or a removable partial denture for one tooth, it is always best to get the professional advice. Both options have different benefits associated with their treatment and eligibility can vary from patient to patient depending on the overall health of your remaining teeth and mouth.

Can I get dentures for my two front teeth?

Yes, its possible to get partial dentures for your two front teeth. However, your budget and precise requirements may redirect the final decision, as there are other options including dental implants.

What are dental implants for dentures?

Dental implants can be used to attach a removable denture to your jaw via attachments called locaters. These implant-supported dentures are a major improvement in fit and function over traditional dentures and result in an increased biting force. Dental implants form the natural tooth root system needed to strengthen and improve the force of a bite. As a result, dental implant patients can eat a wider variety of foods, which leads to healthier diets, more confident smiles, and an improved quality of life.

What should you expect if you need partial dentures?

Partial dentures are not a natural addition to your mouth and will take some getting used to. Here are some things you can expect:

  • At first, your new partial may feel awkward or bulky. This is normal and will resolve itself with time.
  • Inserting and removing your partial will take practice.
  • Your partial denture should fit into place with relative ease.
  • Never force it into position by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.
  • At first, to get used to your new denture, and to identify areas that may need adjustment, your dentist may suggest wearing your partial all the time.
  • Once the need for adjustments are identified, and the adjustments performed, your dentist may recommend removing your partial at bedtime.
  • At first, eat soft foods cut into small pieces, and chew on both sides to keep the pressure even.
  • Avoid chewing gum during the adjustment period, as well as other hard, sticky foods.
  • At first, you may find it difficult to pronounce certain words. This will resolve itself with time.

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