What’s the Difference between Dentures, Bridges, and Implants?

When it comes to maintaining your teeth, you are generally able to do so by getting a checkup regularly and practicing good oral hygiene. Lots of people get cavities when they do not take care of their teeth, but your dentist can even fix this problem with the filling. But sometimes, due to dental decay, trauma or a host of other reasons, you may actually have a missing tooth or teeth. When this happens, you have a few choices when it comes to getting your mouth back into shape. Generally, you have bridges and implants to choose from, but in extreme cases, you may have to choose the nuclear option with a full or partial set of dentures. So what are the differences between these three procedures?

Dentures

Dentures are basically replacement teeth. In fact, you have probably heard the term “false teeth” to refer to dentures. Dentures are not permanently installed in your mouth. Instead, they can be removed and cleaned and put back in. Dentures are definitely not the preferred option unless you have lost all of your teeth and you have no other choice. They take some getting used to, and they do not feel the same as your natural teeth. There are two types of dentures out there: full dentures and partial dentures. Partial dentures replace some of your teeth – usually the upper or lower set – while full dentures replace all of them. Dentures are custom made to fit your mouth and are usually covered by insurance. Elderly people often have to have dentures because their teeth have begun to decay and fall out due to aging.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are the next type of procedure that we’ll discuss. Dental bridges are sets of false teeth that are held in place by dental crowns. These are permanent fixtures that are not removed like dentures are, and they are much preferred because they feel much closer to having a full set of natural teeth. There are four basic types of dental bridges: traditional bridges are used when you have natural teeth on both sides of the space where your missing tooth or missing teeth are. Bridges are terrific because they are strong and can even replace molars. One of the downsides of traditional dental bridges is the fact that the enamel must be removed from your teeth to make room for the crowns. There are also cantilever bridges, which are similar to traditional ones, except that they are only supported on one side. Maryland bridges are sort of a lightweight option to traditional bridges and implant-supported bridges are dental bridges that work with implants.

Dental Implants

Speaking of implants, they are the third option that we will be discussing. This is often the more expensive option of the three, although costs are going down, so you should check with your dentist to find out how much a tooth implant costs and whether the procedure is recommended. An implant is simply a metal framework that is mounted to your jawbone which then allows your dentist to install replacement teeth. This is the closest thing that you will get to being able to regrow teeth that you have lost, and it is an option that many people choose every year. For those who are not able to do bridges or dentures because they are uncomfortable or there are considerations that make such a procedure possible, dental implants are a way that they can replace missing teeth and be able to chew food easily and feel like they have their original teeth back.

 

Image courtesy of [kdshutterman] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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