Dentures vs. Permanent Bridge: Pros & Cons

 

Thanks to recent advancements in dentistry technology, there are a number of options for patients to replace missing or severely diseased teeth. These enhanced solutions are not only designed to enhance patients’ aesthetics, but also to restore patients’ ability to chew, talk, and perform other vital functions. 

Of the different options available to restore missing or diseased teeth, dentures and permanent bridges are among them. Selecting the one that works best for you requires understanding the pros and cons of each solution. 

Let’s take a look at what each choice has to offer.

 Dentures

Dentures are artificial teeth that are supported by a base plate and held in by the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. It serves as a replacement option for complete or partially missing teeth. Different types of dental material are used for designing and manufacturing the denture base and denture teeth, so get familiar with each to determine which one you prefer. A few to consider: metal, acrylic resins, nylon polymer, and porcelain.

 Dentures are available in two forms: 

  1. Complete dentures: Complete dentures are recommended in the case of complete loss of natural teeth. They are designed to rest on the gums and palate without any solid support, thus suctioned onto the gums. 
  2. Partial dentures: Partial dentures are recommended when some of the natural teeth are present. These are designed to replace the missing teeth by taking support from the natural teeth. 

 Pros of Dentures:

  • They look aesthetically pleasing.
  • They are easy to maintain and clean.
  • They are cost-effective.
  • They uplift a sagging face (in the case of missing teeth).
  • They improve eating functions.

Cons of Dentures: 

  • They wear down over time, leading to an ill-fitted denture and the need for replacements. 
  • The treatment for dentures is lengthy, involving multiple procedures.
  • They can rub against the gum tissue, causing irritation.
  • They may cause a gagging sensation for those with sensitive palates.
  • Chewing hard and chewy food can be difficult, although it improves general eating functions.  

 Permanent Bridge

A permanent dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic option for replacing missing or diseased teeth. Dental bridges usually consist of three false teeth that are connected and placed on top of root-canal-treated teeth, usually in a pattern where the first tooth is root-canal-treated, the second is a missing or extracted tooth, and the third is also root-canal-treated. These false teeth are designed and manufactured using various dental materials, such as porcelain, gold, metal, resin, or a combination of these options.

There are four types of permanent bridges:

  1. A conventional permanent bridge consists of two abutments and one pontic, and is cemented to root-canal-treated teeth to provide support, functionality, and aesthetics.
  2. A Maryland permanent bridge is often recommended when both sides of the gap have sound teeth, so a framework is cemented to the sound teeth on both sides of the gap with a pontic between that serves as a natural tooth.  
  3. A cantilever permanent bridge consists of one pontic tooth and one abutment tooth. It requires only one safe tooth that acts as an abutment, next to the gap.
  4. An implant-supported permanent bridge is similar to conventional bridges. The only difference is that the implant screws act as abutments instead of natural teeth.

Pros of Permanent Bridges:   

  • They have increased longevity and provide enhanced functioning for years.
  • They are aesthetically pleasing and look more natural.
  • They do not require unnecessary extraction of teeth.
  • They are a quick replacement option.
  • They provide a strong and secure base.

 

Cons of Permanent Bridges: 

  • They require thorough attention for cleaning and maintaining bridges.
  • They can be quite expensive.
  • Conventional bridges may require unnecessary shaving/removal of healthy enamel.

Ready to take the next steps toward your perfect smile? Click here to schedule your call today.