Bridges and partial dentures

With a missing tooth leaving a gap then the teeth on each side of the gap can be put under strain and cause some movement which may then lead to decay and gum disease

Dental bridges or partial dentures may be the answer.

Most dental bridges cover the gap between existing natural teeth or implants. The adjacent teeth are prepared as crowns and hold a false tooth in place.

A partial denture is a plate with one or more false teeth on it. It can be made of plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. Both types may have clips (clasps) to help keep the denture in place in your mouth. Depending on where they are, some of these clips may show when you smile or open your mouth.

Determining  the best option is best discussed with the dentist who will explain each option to allow you to decide which may be the best option for you.

What are my options for replacing missing teeth?

This depends on the number of teeth you are missing, where they are in your mouth, and the condition of your remaining teeth.

There are three main ways to replace missing teeth.

  • Fixed bridge. Usually used when there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.
  • Removable false tooth (or teeth) – called a partial denture.
  • Dental implants. This is where an artificial root is placed into the bone of the jaw and a crown or bridge placed on top of this.
Is a metal denture better than a plastic one?

Plastic partial dentures are less expensive but,unless they are designed very carefully, can damage the teeth they fit against.

Metal partial dentures are usually made from an alloy of cobalt and chromium and are much stronger. They are lighter to wear and can be supported by the remaining teeth. Although the base is metal, they have gum-coloured plastic and natural-looking teeth fixed to them. They are more expensive than plastic ones.

Are there reasons why I may not be able to have a bridge ?

A bridge needs strong adjacent teeth with good bone support to hold it. The dentist can advise you of your best options

How do I look after my dental bridge?

Daily cleaning to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. A bridge needle or special floss can be used to reach tricky areas.

I've heard implants are a better option. Is this true?

One of the benefits of dental implants is that you may be able to replace missing teeth without having to have crowns on other teeth. Talk to the dentist about the options and the pros and cons of each.

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