Dentures vs. Bridges: Your Comprehensive Guide To A Brighter Smile

Dentures vs. Bridges: Your Comprehensive Guide To A Brighter Smile

We at Skylyn Dental Associates are here to guide you through your dental restoration journey. Understanding the differences between dentures and bridges can be the first step toward regaining your confidence and oral health. If you're considering Spartanburg dentures or dental bridges, delve into this detailed guide for valuable insights

Dentures vs. Bridges: Your Comprehensive Guide To A Brighter Smile

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges, as the name suggests, bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They consist of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap and a false tooth or teeth in between. These anchoring teeth are known as abutment teeth, and the false teeth are called pontics. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. They are strong, durable, and offer a fixed solution that closely resembles your natural teeth.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures, on the other hand, are removable replacements for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They come in two main types: complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Dentures can help restore your smile if you’ve lost all or some of your natural teeth due to gum disease, tooth decay, or injury.

What Are The Main Differences?

While both dentures and bridges serve the common purpose of restoring your smile and confidence, they have distinct characteristics and functionalities. Here are the main differences:

Removability vs. Permanence:

  • Dentures: They are removable prosthetics. This means you can take them out for cleaning or while sleeping.
  • Bridges: These are permanently cemented or fixed into place. Once installed, they function like natural teeth and cannot be removed easily.

Maintenance and Care:

  • Dentures: Require more maintenance. They need to be cleaned nightly and soaked in a cleaning solution. Dentures also require regular adjustments and relining to ensure a proper fit over time.
  • Bridges: Maintenance is similar to that of natural teeth, involving regular brushing and flossing. They don't require the same level of specialized cleaning as dentures.

Aesthetic and Functional Differences:

  • Dentures: May not feel as natural as bridges. There can be issues with fit over time, leading to discomfort or slippage.
  • Bridges: Tend to feel and function more like natural teeth. They are stable and offer a more natural chewing experience.

Impact on Oral Health

  • Dentures: Can be used when most or all teeth are missing and don't rely on surrounding teeth for support.
  • Bridges: Require healthy adjacent teeth for support. The surrounding teeth need to be filed down to attach the bridge, which can affect your natural tooth structure.

Longevity and Durability:

  • Dentures: Typically have a shorter lifespan compared to bridges. They may need to be replaced more frequently due to wear and changes in your mouth’s shape.
  • Bridges: Generally offer a longer-lasting solution. With proper care, they can last many years without needing replacement.

The choice between dentures and bridges often depends on the number of teeth you're missing and your personal preference.

The Denture Procedure

The process of getting dentures involves several steps. Initially, your dentist will make a series of impressions of your jaw and take measurements of how your jaws relate to one another. Next, models in the exact shape and position of the denture are created. You will "try in" this model several times, and the denture will be assessed for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is cast. Finally, adjustments will be made as necessary.

The Bridge Procedure

For a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared first. This involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Impressions of the teeth are then made, serving as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while your bridge is being made. At your next visit, the temporary bridge is removed, and the new bridge will be adjusted to achieve a proper fit.

Post-Treatment Care And Follow-Up

After receiving your dentures or bridge, follow-up care is crucial for maintaining oral health and ensuring the longevity of your dental work.

  • Dentures: It’s important to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist. These visits are key for adjustments and to check the health of your gums and mouth. Remember, your mouth’s shape can change over time, which may affect the fit of your dentures.
  • Bridges: Regular professional cleanings and check-ups are vital. During these visits, your dentist can check the bridge and the health of the supporting teeth and gums. Proper maintenance can significantly extend the life of your bridge.

Considerations For Long-Term Care

Both dentures and bridges require specific care routines for longevity.

  • Caring for Dentures: It's essential to handle your dentures with care. They should be brushed daily to remove food and plaque and kept moist when not being worn to prevent them from drying out or losing their shape. Regular dental check-ups are necessary to ensure a proper fit over time.
  • Caring for Bridges: Just like your natural teeth, bridges require good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Regular check-ups and cleanings are also crucial.

Which Option Is Right For You?

Choosing between dentures and bridges is a personal decision that should be made in consultation with your dentist. At Skylyn Dental Associates, we take the time to understand your specific needs and circumstances, and recommend the best solution for you. If you have many missing teeth or have suffered significant bone loss, dentures may be the best option. On the other hand, if you are missing only one or two teeth and your remaining teeth and gums are healthy, a bridge may be the preferred solution.

Ready To Restore Your Smile? 

Regaining your radiant smile and confidence starts with a simple step. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Gibas. Our team in Spartanburg is eager to guide you through your journey to a brighter, healthier smile. Don't let missing teeth hold you back. Call us at (864) 573-9255 or request an appointment online. Your journey to a new smile starts here.