Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

Understanding The Difference Between A Bridge And A Partial Removable Denture

If you're struggling with a missing tooth or two, it's in your best interest to start exploring your options to address the problem. Your dentist may suggest one of several options, including dental implants, a dental bridge or a removable partial denture. While dental implants stand out in terms of their difference, it can be tough to determine the difference between a bridge and a removable partial denture. Here's a look at what you should know about both before you make your decision.

Difference in Attachment

A removable partial denture relies on a set of metal clasps to secure it in place in your mouth. While this may not be a problem depending on where the denture secures, the clips may be visible in your mouth. As an alternative, a bridge does not need clips because it fits securely over existing teeth. This may help you create a more seamless appearance.

Number of Replacement Teeth

Most bridge designs can only replace a small number of missing teeth. The structural integrity of a bridge is weakened by too many teeth between the two anchor teeth, so it's only an option for those who are missing a couple of teeth, but not a lot. In addition, it can put too much pressure on those anchor teeth, potentially causing those teeth to loosen.

If you need to replace several teeth, you can use a partial removable denture instead. Since partial removable dentures are secured by clasps, not by anchor points on teeth, the partial can support more teeth without putting unnecessary pressure on the existing natural teeth.

Condition of the Natural Teeth

You'll need to have strong, healthy teeth to support the clasps that hold a partial removable denture in place, because a tooth that's suffering decay will be weakened and may crumble. Instead, if you've got anchor teeth that have cavities and other decay, you'll want to have those teeth treated and then covered by an anchor crown as part of a small bridge. If there are too many missing teeth in that area to do a bridge, you'll want to talk with your dentist about other alternatives for anchoring your bridge in place.

You'll want to be sure that you talk with your dentist at length about the options available to you based on the condition of your teeth. If you're looking for an alternative to dental implants, a bridge or partial removable denture may be the solution that you need. Contact a company like Rose City Dental Care for more information.