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Partial Dentures Vs. Dental Bridges - Pros & Cons

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By Author: James
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Tooth loss is a widespread problem that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It can result in a variety of health issues, including difficulty swallowing, speech difficulties, and diminished self-confidence. 
Thankfully, dental technology has advanced in recent years, allowing for a variety of tooth replacement options. Partial dentures and dental prostheses are two of the most common solutions. 
Partial dentures are removable replacements for one or more missing teeth, whereas dental bridges are irreversibly bonded to adjacent teeth. Both solutions have distinct advantages and disadvantages, making it essential for patients to consider their individual requirements and preferences when deciding which option to select.
This article will examine the differences, benefits, and drawbacks between partial dentures and dental bridges to assist you in deciding which option is best for you.
Partial Dentures
Partial dentures are dental prosthetics that mimic natural teeth and replace one or more absent teeth. Custom-made to suit each patient's mouth, these prostheses are composed of ...
... a combination of acrylic, metal, or both. They are typically held in position by metal clasps or precise attachments that attach to adjacent natural teeth.
Removable and non-removable partial dentures are the two most common varieties. 
Removable partial dentures can be removed from the mouth for cleansing and maintenance, whereas non-removable partial dentures are permanently bonded to the teeth.
Advantages of Partial Dentures


Affordable

Partial dentures are less expensive than alternatives like dental implants and bridges. This makes them an excellent option for those on a tight budget or without dental insurance. Additionally, partial dentures are more available and accessible than other tooth replacement alternatives. This means they can be fitted at your local dental clinic without the need for specialised apparatus or procedures.


Non-Invasive

In contrast to dental implants, which necessitate invasive surgery and a protracted recovery period, partial dentures can be fitted without invasive procedures or surgery. This makes partial dentures an attractive option for patients who fear surgery or have medical conditions that make invasive procedures dangerous. The fitting procedure for partial dentures is relatively straightforward and painless, and you can leave the dental clinic the same day with your new partial dentures.


Convertible to Full Dentures

If you lose additional teeth in the future, the partial dentures can be adjusted to accommodate the new gaps. This flexibility can save you time and money because you do not have to purchase a new set of dentures. It also allows you to avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of being toothless while awaiting a replacement set of dentures. 
Negatives of Partial Dentures


Inconvenient to wear

Partial dentures can be awkward or unpleasant to wear, especially when eating or speaking. This is due to the fact that partial dentures are supported by the residual teeth and gums, which can cause discomfort, soreness, irritation, and even infection.


It takes time to adjust to 

Getting accustomed to partial dentures requires time and adjustment. This is because they can be initially challenging to wear. You may experience discomfort or tenderness in the gums, and it may take some time to adjust to the dentures' sensation in your mouth.


Needs periodic replacement or adjustment

Over time, partial dentures may need to be replaced or adjusted. As the remaining teeth and gums shift, the dentures may deteriorate or become unstable, resulting in additional costs and patient discomfort. 
Additionally, changes in the patient's mouth, such as bone loss or shifting of the remaining teeth, can impact the fit of dentures and necessitate adjustments or replacements.
Dental Bridges
Dental bridges, as their name implies, "bridge" the space between two teeth. They consist of two or more dental crowns on either side of the space and a pontic, which is a synthetic tooth. Dental bridges are cemented into the mandible permanently.
Like partial dentures, dental bridges are available in a variety of materials. Porcelain, zirconia, and ceramic are the most typical materials.
Advantages of Dental Bridges


A permanent solution 

Once installed, dental bridges do not require removal for cleaning or maintenance. In addition to brushing and flossing, no special care is required. This can be a significant benefit for patients seeking a tooth replacement option that requires less maintenance over time.


Feel and look natural

Bridges are made to appear and feel like natural teeth. The bridge's prosthetic teeth can be custom-made to match the colour, shape, and size of the patient's residual natural teeth, allowing them to blend in with the smile.


Excellent stability and performance

Because they are anchored in position by dental crowns affixed to natural teeth, they are more stable and less likely to shift or move during eating or speaking.
Negatives of Dental Bridge


Can be costly. 

Dental bridges can have a higher initial cost than partial dentures. This is due to the increased time and effort required to position them, as they typically require multiple appointments and a custom fabrication process. In addition, the construction materials, such as porcelain or ceramic, can be costly.


invasive treatment

In order to obtain a dental bridge, the neighbouring teeth that will function as the bridge's support must be filed down. This filing procedure can cause discomfort and tooth sensitivity. In some instances, it may even cause pulp damage necessitating additional treatment.


Inconvenient to maintain

Dental bridges can be more difficult to maintain than partial dentures because they are permanent. You must brush and floss carefully around the bridge to prevent food particles from becoming ensnared.
Which Option Suits Your Needs?
The choice between partial dentures and dental bridges ultimately depends on an individual's preferences and requirements. Partial dentures may be the best option if you're searching for an affordable, non-invasive option that can be easily removed and cleaned. However, a dental bridge may be preferable if you desire a more durable, permanent solution with a natural appearance and feel. 
In the end, it is essential to consult with a dentist to determine which option is optimal for your particular situation.
Conclusion
Both partial dentures and dental bridges are effective tooth replacement alternatives with distinct advantages and disadvantages. The choice between these alternatives will depend on the individual's requirements, preferences, and finances. 
In addition, your dentist can assist you in making an informed decision and developing a treatment plan that addresses your specific dental requirements and objectives. Maintaining appropriate dental hygiene practises is crucial for optimal oral health regardless of the option chosen.

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