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Partial Dentures vs. Dental Bridges

If you are considering tooth replacement options, you have likely heard of dentures and dental bridges. For many people, bridges and dentures are preferable to dental implants because they are less invasive. Rather than undergoing several dental surgeries, you will go to a few dental appointments to get fitted for either your dentures or bridges. 

When deciding between bridges and dentures, you should consider your preferences concerning oral care and lifestyle. Additionally, you should know the process of getting either to see which appliance is right for you. If you want a quick, pain-free procedure, you might want dentures. However, if you want a more stable, durable option, you may choose dental bridges. 

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Partial Dentures

Dentures are false teeth that fill the gap of one or more missing teeth. The most significant difference between partial dentures and dental bridges is that you have the ability to remove dentures. However, dental bridges are permanent fixtures in your mouth. This means that you can (and should) remove dentures daily. Most partial dentures secure to your teeth using clasps. Additionally, some patients may use a denture adhesive to keep dentures in place. 

Unlike dental bridges, you must remove dentures every night. Although dentures help support your teeth and gums, leaving them in too long can cause sores or bone failure. In addition, you need to follow special care instructions to allow your dentures to last as long as possible. This includes avoiding harsh chemicals and abrasives. Also, you cannot use hot water on your dentures because it will cause them to warp. Leaving your dentures in overnight will increase the number of bacteria in your mouth and on your dentures. Unfortunately, this can cause gum disease or even pneumonia. 

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a type of dental prosthetic that “bridge” the gap between your missing teeth. Unlike dentures, dental bridges stay in place. Therefore, you will not remove them. In fact, only a dentist will remove them in a dental setting. Dental bridges utilize your remaining natural teeth and crowns to stay in place. 

Initially, your dental team will take molds of your teeth to create your dental bridges. Once they are ready, your dentist will place them. The process involves removing part of your existing teeth to fit the dental bridge. Then, your dentist will use dental crowns to seal the dental bridge in place. This keeps your appliance from moving while you eat or speak. You don’t have to worry about nightly removals or adhesives. 

For the most part, dental bridges look and function like your natural teeth. However, you do have to take special care when flossing. It is still possible to develop gum disease with dental bridges. This happens when you don’t floss correctly. In order to avoid this, you need a specific type of dental floss that has a stiff end. It will allow you to thread the floss under your dental bridge to remove any plaque buildup.