To begin, the purpose of bridges and dentures are to replace missing teeth. A dental bridge, or a fixed partial denture, is permanently attached to the permanent teeth on either side where there is a missing tooth. A bridge is a permanent restoration and requires more attention with dental hygiene. A bridge looks and functions like your natural teeth.
A partial denture is a lab-created dental representation of natural-looking teeth that is attached to your remaining teeth using clasps. A partial denture is removable and requires regular cleaning and maintenance. A denture functions similarly to your natural teeth, other than a reduced bite force, meaning your bite may not be as strong as it once was. It is important if you have lost one or more teeth to replace them. Dentures typically are less expensive than other permanent restoration options, however, they also have significantly lower longevity.
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If missing teeth are not replaced, you are at risk for additional tooth loss. This occurs because the remaining teeth have to work harder when you bite, which can cause them to start to move or reposition. Dr. Jones is happy to sit down with you to discuss treatment options and the benefits or downfalls of each option.