Though it is never ideal to lose a permanent tooth, you can trust that modern dentistry offers some excellent solutions to replace missing teeth. Teeth replacement should always be initiated sooner rather than later. If gaps are left within your smile, it can impact your speech, your appearance and your bite as the adjacent teeth migrate towards the open space. When it comes to restoring your smile after tooth loss, you’ve got more than one option. The number and location of your missing teeth as well as your personal preferences and lifestyle can help determine which restorative dentistry treatment is best for you.
If you still have most of your natural teeth but only need one or a few prosthetic teeth, you may be faced with whether to get a dental bridge or a partial denture. Here’s a closer look at each option.
A dental bridge includes an artificial tooth or teeth that are permanently attached in your mouth. Just like its name, a dental bridge will “bridge the gap” between your existing teeth. In most cases, a bridge is attached to your natural teeth, which can be fitted with dental crowns to add more stability and strength. In patients whose adjacent teeth are not stable, dental implants can be used as anchors for the dental bridge. Bridges can be fabricated out of gold, metal alloys or porcelain, depending on your personal preference and your dentist’s suggestion. While it may seem confusing, a dental bridge is sometimes referred to as a “fixed partial denture,” particularly when replacing more than one tooth.
Unlike bridges, a traditional partial denture is removable. It must be removed at night for cleaning and sleeping. It is attached to your natural teeth using clasps or “clip on” precision attachments. A partial denture also includes artificial gums, or a pink acrylic base that the prosthetic teeth are mounted on. These are key differences that can impact the way your smile looks as well as your daily living in terms of eating and dental hygiene.
Which One is Right for You
A more accurate recommendation of how to replace your missing teeth should come from your dentist. However, in general, if you have several teeth in a row that are missing, a partial denture. If only one or two teeth are missing, a bridge may be more appropriate. Your overall health and future dental health will also be heavily considered.
At Haven Dentistry, we recognize that each patient has very unique needs, especially when it comes to teeth replacement. To help you make a more informed and customized decision about your dental bridge, please schedule a consult with one of our talented restorative dentists in Richmond.