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Dental Prosthesis (denture) vs Dental Bridge – What shall I choose?

Dental Prosthesis (denture) or dental bridge? What is the difference? These have always been the questions that needed an answer. Over the past 30 years, dentists have used various methods to replace missing teeth. There is removable dental prosthesis or also called removable denture, but there are also irremovable prosthesis ( irremovable denture) and finally so called dental bridges.

In the following, you will get to know the differences between the removable and irremovable dentures but also the advantages and disadvantages of different treatment methods. At the end you will be able to decide for yourself what method will suit your best interests.

1. Dental Prosthesis or denture

1.1 Removable dentures (alternatives to a fixed bridge)

1.1.1  Removable full denture (1 day)

A denture that is loosely placed on top of the gum to cover the lost teeth. This alternative has no real advantages – except for its low price and easy installation. It is usually used temperary while waiting for a treatment, like fixed bridges.

The disadvantages are many: discomfort in eating, poor aesthetics, affected speech, and sore gums from denture movement. Moreover, a full denture placed in the upper jaw severely reduces the sense of taste.

1.1.2. Removable, implant anchored overdenture/prosthesis (takes 5 treatment days)

A removable full denture is connected to either a ball or bar attachment, which in turn is anchored on two or more implants in the front part of the jaw. The implants help keep the denture in place and provide better function and comfort. Cost is usually the reason why this solution is chosen over a fixed bridge – although the end result can’t be compared.

– Implant Supported Fixed Prosthesis

All-on-4 Fixed overdenture over 4 Upper and 4 Lower dental implants (All-on-4/All-on-4 dental procedure)

All-on-four is a treatment option for replacing all of the patient’s teeth on the lower/upper jaw with just four dental implants. This is usually used as an alternative to a full bridge, although it is not recommended for people under 65 years old.

Some advantages are: – no bone graft – spreading fewer dental implants more towards the back with purposeful angulation – dental implants can possibly be placed on the same day as an extraction – reduced cost

1.1.3. Partial denture?

This is a plate with one or more false teeth on it. It may be all plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. Both types may have clips (clasps) to help keep the denture in place in your mouth. Depending on where they are, some of these clips may show when you smile or open your mouth.

1. 2  Irremovable denture

1.2.1 Full mouth rehabilitation with implant-supported prosthesis ( 5-7 days)

Replacing all the teeth or correcting the imperfections in bite position is referred as full mouth rehabilitation or full mouth reconstruction. The end result is a 14-14 unit bridge on 9-10 upper and 8 lower implants

The use of the irremovable denture or dental prosthesis is temporary while waiting for a full arch bridge. Its purpose is to cover your gums while they heal because of the received implants. The healing period, which can be up to 6 months, is easy with the irremovable denture, because they are fixed on the implants and very stable. The eating, speaking or smiling is no problem.

2. Dental bridge ( 5 days)

The dental bridge is one of the most modern methods of stitched prosthesis. There can be bridges made of metal ceramic or zircon crowns. Zircon bridges are probably the best materials you can get. Besides being the most aesthetic, it also contains no metals or allergic materials. Dental bridges can have different lengths depending on how many teeth are missing.

2.1. A bridge may be recommended if the patient is missing one or more teeth.

 Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and joint (TMJ) disorders.

  1. Teeth around the space are prepared.
  2. The bridge is mounted and adjusted for fit and comfort.
  3. The bridge is cemented into position.

 

2.2 Fixed full-arch bridge

When all teeth are missing or in such condition that they need to be replaced, a fixed bridge anchored to dental implants is the best permanent solution.

The advantage of a bridge is that the crowns give you a lighter feeling then the dentures, are very stable, have a better aesthetic look.  The chewing  is easy and the teeth feel as they  were your own.  The only disadvantage is they are the most expensive method for replacing missing teeth.

Yes, there are many thing to take into consideration when deciding what method suits you best. Do not forget a dentist can help you a lot with your insecurities and further questions. Ask for a free consultation and become confidant with your decision.