Thanks to advances within the dental industry throughout decades past, there are a variety of viable restorative procedures to enhance the integrity of the smile. With some being more invasive, and others boasting a sense of flexibility- the best fit for you is ultimately dependent on your smile’s unique situation.
Both bridges and dentures are excellent options to restore both the cosmetic and functional aspects of your smile. However, committing to either option raises questions, thoughts, and concerns specific to which one will best suit your needs.
Option 1: Bridges
Bridges have provided millions of patients across the globe with a more permanent solution to replace spots in the smile which have had broken or infected teeth removed. Capable of replacing one or more teeth, this is the ideal alternative for those who seek to avoid the maintenance associated with dentures, and provides a more long-term solution in its place.
Its namesake derives from its design to bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth in a particular area of the smile. These artificial teeth are crafted from resilient materials to withstand all the daily functions of the smile all while competing on par with the fortitude of natural teeth. Beyond functionality, the artificial teeth can be crafted in an array of unique shades and colours to best assimilate into the existing hue of your overall smile.
The process is quite seamless for such a procedure which greatly increases the patient’s quality of life, and consists of the following steps:
- The dental professional preps the area of your smile which will receive the bridge and the existing teeth which will act as its anchor.
- An impression is made in order for the artificial tooth to be accurately fabricated or scanned.
- An appropriate colour is chosen to best conform to your existing teeth.
- A follow-up appointment is scheduled to fit and adjust the now completed bridge, merging it into your smile.
If properly cared for and managed over time, along with practicing positive oral care and lifestyle habits, a bridge can last for over ten years. Granting you and your smile the appearance and function you deserve for at least a decade.
Option 2: Dentures
Removable and flexible, dentures are artificial replacement teeth attached to a gum-coloured acrylic or metal framework. Designed to easily fit into the unique grooves of your smile, these can be easily put into place to increase speech, chewing, and aesthetic purposes and later removed when deemed best fit by the user.
Dentures are typically utilized when large amounts of teeth are missing from the upper and lower jaw. Depending on how many teeth you have missing, you will either require a full or partial denture. Partial dentures are uniquely curated to uniquely fill in the gaps to what your smile is missing. While full dentures are used to remedy patients which may be missing almost or all their teeth on the upper or lower jaws.
The process behind dentures is similar to that of bridges. It will require preparations, impressions of your smile’s unique circumstances, and a follow up appointment where they will be presented to you with the necessary guidelines of their usage.
Dentures may have a similar lifespan of bridges, but are typically infamous for lasting a little less longer. While they remain sturdy- this is due to the daily upkeep required by the patient to ensure the dentures remain in their optimal state, and their removability increases their risk of being damaged or lost.
What to Consider
Decisions can be challenging, especially when deciding which option will best suit your lifestyle and smile’s current situation. Booking an appointment with one of our professionals will provide both of us the opportunity to understand your smile to the utmost degree, and ultimately choose the most effective option.
Generally speaking, there are a plethora of factors to take into consideration when deciding between the two. As both bridges and dentures have their strengths and weaknesses across the board.
Both options become integral new parts of your smile, and must be cared for by following the instructions and guidelines given to you by your dental professional. When comparing the necessary maintenance required by both, dentures undeniably require an extra degree of attention and commitment.
This is because bridges are permanently fused into the structure of your smile, and their upkeep becomes part of your typical oral care regimen. Meaning you are instructed to care for them identically to what’s required of natural teeth; twice daily brushing (especially after meals), and flossing at least once a day.
Being removable and non-permanent, dentures require a higher degree of responsibility. Dentures, once removed, must be cleaned with a proper denture cleaner product and soaked in warm water overnight to remove food degree and bacteria buildup. This means if you have existing teeth, you must care for them through a proper oral care regimen as well as committing to the separate upkeep required from your dentures. Dentures may have a tendency to become damaged during the interim periods when being taken out of the mouth, as well as becoming lost or misplaced.
The severity of what your smile requires to restore itself dictates which option is best suited for you. As previously stated, smiles which have large swaths of teeth missing are more suited candidates for dentures since bridges need anchor teeth to form their structure. If you have one or a few missing teeth, a bridge may be a more effective and permanent solution for this circumstance.
The severity of each procedure must also not be overlooked. While dental bridges are nowhere near as invasive as dental implants, they still are permanently fixated into your smile and will ideally remain that way for at least a decade. Dentures on the other hand are less impactful due to their flexibility, and require the patient to become acquainted with its alteration of lifestyle.
How deep your pockets will be affected is something all of us must consider when deciding between any options. While price tags vary, and your specific out of pocket costs may depend on your insurance situation, there is a difference between bridges and dentures.
Both procedures are considered restorative services, and are usually covered to some degree by typical insurance plans. However, bridges have a tendency to be pricier due to their permanence and lessened degree of maintenance. Usually, dentures range in price from $2,000 to $5,000 and can be as low as $1,000 depending on how many teeth remain in the smile. Bridges range in price from $1800 to $2500 per tooth, therefore if multiple bridges are needed then they are undeniably the pricier option.
To best understand which option best serves you, or learn about other restorative procedures like dental implants, please book a consultation appointment today!