DENTAL BRIDGES AND DENTURES IN FORT SMITH, AR & ROGERS, AR
Bridges and dentures are dental prosthetics used to replace missing or lost teeth. A dental bridge is what we call “fixed”, meaning the prosthetic is glued into your mouth and cannot come out unless removed by your dentist.
Dentures and partial dentures are also used to replace missing teeth, however these prosthetics are removable. They are designed to fit in your mouth resting on gum tissue or remaining healthy teeth and are removed and cleaned regularly at home. There are various pros and cons to each appliance. Ask your dentist which might be best for you.
A dental bridge works by preparing the healthy teeth on either side of a missing tooth area for crowns. Rather than the crowns being separate and distinct units, a dental bridge suspends a fake or “pontic” tooth in between these two new crowns to “span” the gap much like a roadway on 2 pylons over a gorge or river. The bridge is made by a technician in a dental laboratory as one solid piece of metal, ceramic or a combination of the two.
Pros of Dental Bridges:
The entire process, from start to finish, takes only a few weeks. Bridges are often the quickest way to replace a missing tooth.
While bridges work by using the strength of existing teeth, they are not dependent on the density or shape of the bone at the site of the missing tooth.
Dental bridges are a routine procedure for dentists and often do not require any additional treatments or surgeries to complete.
If the neighboring teeth are already in need of large fillings or crowns, bridges are an ideal way to fix and strengthen those teeth while also filling in the gap of a missing tooth.
“Dentures” is a shorthand term that patients often associate with a complete loss of all teeth. In reality, “dentures” can be an all encompassing term used to describe removable prosthetic devices replacing any number of teeth. We often split dentures into two categories.
A removable partial denture, or “partial” is a dental prosthetic used to replace missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. A partial uses remaining natural teeth as anchors, often latches on to these teeth with plastic or metal clasps to help stabilize the denture during chewing and talking.
Pros of Removable Partial Dentures:
Partials can be a very economical way to replace missing teeth. The number of teeth being replaced does not affect the cost of a partial denture.
A single partial may be able to replace every missing tooth in the arch.
Because a partial is removed, the prosthetic and remaining teeth are often easily cleaned.
Partials can be very sturdy and if cared for, can last for many years.
Cons of removable partial dentures:
Because of the lab time involved and the necessity of try-in and check up/adjustment appointments, the process of a partial may take several months and involve several appointments.
Remaining teeth used to clasp or support the partial must be healthy and structural sound. These teeth may need to be shaped or fixed to allow room for the partial and occasionally, anchor teeth need to be crowned to ensure they are strong enough to hold the denture in place during chewing and talking.
A complete denture is a removable prosthetic used to replace all teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Dentures use plastic or porcelain teeth set in a pink acrylic base. Support for the denture comes from the gums, the remaining jaw bones and the muscles and tissues in the mouth. Complete dentures may be made to snap onto implants for added retention and support.
Pros of complete dentures:
Complete dentures are the least expensive way to replace teeth if they have all been lost.
Dentures can totally recreate a smile. The patient gets to select the size, shape, color and position of the teeth.
Complete dentures are usually very durable and can last many years.