What are the Differences Between Dentures and Dental Bridges?

As people age, losing teeth can be a common problem. Seniors tend to have more of a risk and end up having dentures to compensate. Of course, with the right level of dental care and daily cleaning routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once per day, older individuals can keep their teeth and avoid the issue of tooth loss. However, it is important to know the differences between dentures and a common dental procedure that involves dental bridges just in case.

When people are missing teeth, they have a choice of getting either dentures or dental bridges, depending on their specific loss. In terms of dentures, there are two types: partial dentures and complete dentures. Partial dentures are those that are fitted between natural teeth in a person’s mouth. Generally, they are also referred to as a bridge. The name “bridge” is fitting as they literally create a bridge of tooth replacements for those that have been lost. Partial dentures are usually pink or gum colored, made of plastic. The natural teeth in the patient’s mouth are surrounded by a crown, which are artificial teeth made to replace those that were lost. In addition to replacing lost teeth, partial dentures also help to prevent those remaining from repositioning.

Complete dentures are the other types of dentures. There are two types, known as conventional and immediate. Immediate are those that are used quickly following removal of teeth and before the gums have healed. A disadvantage of these dentures is that they require more adjustments due to the fact that bones and gums shrink over time. Conventional are those that are fitted into a patient’s mouth anywhere from eight to 12 weeks after the removal of teeth. Essentially, they replace lost teeth but unlike partial dentures, there is no need to wait until the gums heal.

A dental bridge is made up of an artificial tooth to be used in place of a tooth that has been lost or removed by a dentist. A bridge is specifically used to bring the teeth together in closing up any gaps left as a result of the loss of a tooth or teeth. Generally, a dental bridge is used along with two crowns on either side. The bridge is bonded in the mouth permanently, preventing widening of the gap created by the lost tooth or teeth.

If you have lost teeth, it is important to talk with your dentist about it. Together, you can decide on the right procedure for you to ensure the best dental health possible.