Dentures vs Bridges – Which is Best?
By Joe McIntyre, DDS on September 17, 2021
There are many solutions to choose from for patients who have one or several missing teeth. Two of the most common options are traditional dentures and dental bridges.
At Smiles for Life Dental Care in Bridgewater and Staunton, VA, Drs. Joe McIntyre, Dan Whiting, and Bryant Ash are committed to providing high-quality dentistry while offering the Harrisonburg area services and treatments that are above the standard of care. They can answer all of your denture and dental bridge-related questions and help you determine the treatment plan that works best for you.
What’s the Difference Between Dentures and Dental Bridges?
Traditional dentures are a removable set of artificial teeth that brace around the patient’s gums. The patient can get a partial denture if they are missing several teeth or a complete set of dentures if they are missing most or all of their teeth.
A dental bridge consists of one or two false teeth bookend by dental crowns. The crowns help anchor the bridge to natural teeth on each side of a tooth gap. As you picture from this description, the appliance is designed to bridge the gap where a tooth is missing.
Which Option is Best?
Of course, the best option depends on each patient’s specific case. Below are four factors that help determine if dentures or dental bridges are a better choice.
Number of Missing Teeth
A dental bridge is not a viable solution for a patient missing many teeth in a row, or all of their teeth. Traditional dentures would be the best option for such a patient.
If a patient is missing 3 or fewer teeth in a row, a dental bridge would be a viable option. Keep in mind that because dental bridges require support from neighboring teeth, healthy natural teeth is a requirement.
Cost of Treatment
Patients can expect to pay very little for low-end dentures. Mid-range dentures can cost hundreds of dollars, and high-end dentures can be more expensive given how durable and aesthetically convincing they are.
Dental bridges, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars depending on the materials used and nature of the dental work involved.
Durability of the Appliance
If properly cared for, traditional dentures can last between 5 and 10 years. After that point, a new set would probably need to be made. A dental bridge can last 10-15 years when properly cared for.
Hygiene and Maintenance
Traditional dentures can sometimes slip while the wearer is eating or speaking, leading to embarrassing moments. Their maintenance is also somewhat intensive as they are sometimes held in place using adhesive creams and need to be removed nightly to soak in water or denture solution.
Dental bridges require much less maintenance since they are fixed in place onto natural teeth. The only required maintenance is the daily cleaning of the surface underneath the bridge.
Learn More About Denture and Dental Bridge Treatment
Are patients who choose dental bridges or traditional dentures at Smiles for Life happy with their choices? It really depends on their needs and their dental health goals. We encourage you to give our offices a call to see how bridges and dentures can help you. Call (540) 887-3304 or schedule a free consultation through our website for more information.