Do you have one or more missing teeth affecting your oral health? Your dentist has probably laid down the options for you and now you are wondering whether a denture or bridge will be more suitable in the long run. Truth is, there are various factors to consider besides the cost.
This post will delve into replacing missing teeth with a bridge vs dentures in Singapore. We will provide more details about both procedures, letting you know about suitability, benefits, and risks. Of course, you need to remember that at the end of the day, it’s the dental professional that can advise you on a treatment based on your needs. This article is for informational purposes only.
You can always get in touch with us with any questions you may have regarding the procedure. Now, let’s get started.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Before we get into the comparison of a permanent bridge vs a removable partial denture, we need to talk about the two appliances in more detail.
A dental bridge is a more permanent solution that will not fall out. It’s a fixed restoration that employs an artificial tooth with a crown. In order to work, the existing teeth should be in good condition. The ones that are positioned on either side of the gap will have to be filed down. They will accommodate two crowns.
Traditional bridges, also dubbed fixed bridges, need to be replaced after a while as opposed to dental implants, which are permanent. They can last up to 15 years depending on the material you go with and how well you take care of the piece.
Bridges are fabricated from various materials such as ceramics, porcelain, composites, and zirconium. They are part of cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry and are just one way to deal with tooth loss.
Types of bridges with crowns:
- A traditional dental bridge (aka fixed bridge)
- Cantilever bridges - a cantilever bridge is attached to only one tooth in the mouth
- Maryland bridges - the floating tooth is attached to the adjacent structures in a unique way
How are dental bridges with crowns made?
On your first visit, the dentist examines the remaining teeth to ensure there is no gum disease or cavities that need treatment. They have to file down the two teeth on either side of the gap with the missing tooth. A mould of the bridge is then made.
While you wait for the permanent bridge to be crafted, you may be placed a temporary one over the other teeth. About a week later, your bridge will be ready. The dentist will attach it onto your filed structures with dental cement. Sometimes a dental implant may be used to anchor the bridge.
You can read our article on the differences between permanenet dental bridges and implants for more information.
What are the benefits and risks?
Dental bridges allow you to eat and speak normally since they fill the gap that a missing tooth creates. They provide both functional and aesthetic benefits. However, they can also fall off or increase your chances of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
When are dental bridges used?
A traditional bridge is employed to replace missing teeth. It can cover up to four teeth missing from the same jaw. In order to qualify, you need to have good bone support and remaining natural teeth.
What is a Removable Partial Denture for Missing Teeth?
A partial denture is a type of removable replacement teeth attached to a pink base mimicking the gums. It is used to restore the function and form of oral structures. Dentures work best when you have more than three missing teeth on the upper or lower jaws, or both.
As its name implies, a partial denture covers only some of the teeth as opposed to full dentures that are used when there are no natural teeth left in the mouth.
Regardless of the type, artificial teeth need to be taken care of just like normal teeth to prevent problems like bad breath and cavities. Patients usually soak them in a special denture cleaning solution or wash them with toothpaste before placing them back in the mouth. The appliances should be washed after eating.
How are dentures made?
In order to get dentures, you need to go to a specialist providing dental services who will assess your oral health. They will proceed to make impressions of your mouth and then cast a plaster model, which is put in an articulator. Wax is carved to create the form of your gums.
Then, more plaster is poured into the flask. A liquid separator is added to the plaster layer, the purpose of which is to keep the acrylic from sticking. Once everything is dry, any remaining plaster is removed, revealing the set of dentures. Now, the technician will trim and polish the piece. The tooth replacement set is given to the patient.
Does it affect my natural teeth?
With partial dentures, there is no need to file down adjacent teeth unlike with bridges. However, research has shown that temporary denture wearers are more prone to tooth decay and periodontal disease than other people. This is because bacteria tends to get trapped between the gum-coloured plastic base and the gums.
What are the benefits and risks?
Partial dentures help you chew and eat normally, restoring your confidence and healthy smile. They can be taken out whenever you want, which enables cleaning.
A disadvantage is that they can increase plaque buildup around the abutment teeth, which could result in tooth decay and gum disease. Not to mention, there is pressure on the abutment teeth due to the movement of the dentures as you eat.
Dentures can cause difficulty talking and eating before you get used to them. They can also make clicking noises. However, patients find that they can easily adapt to the appliances over time. Last but not least, as time passes by, the structures in your mouth change. Thus, you might have to have your dentures adjusted by a dentist accordingly.
When are partial dentures used?
Partial dentures serve to replace missing teeth in the jaw but not all the teeth. They are suitable for both lower and upper teeth.
Cost of Permanent Bridge vs Removable Partial Denture
Filling your mouth with artificial teeth comes at a cost. Dentures tend to be more affordable than bridges.
- Partial dentures: S$220-S$460 per dental arch
- Full, complete dentures: S$500-S$850 per arch of false teeth
- Dental bridge: S$750 to S$1,400 per piece
Which is Better: Fixed Bridge or Dentures
Both bridges and dentures can be a great treatment for you. It depends on the number of missing teeth you have to fix. If you have many missing teeth, you will be better off with a denture since a bridge requires that you have enough remaining natural teeth in order to function.
On the other hand, if it’s just one missing tooth, you should get either a dental bridge or a dental implant.
When making a decision, you need to take into account your unique situation such as the number of healthy teeth you have, as well as your budget. Your orthodontist will give you all the details so that you know which option will be more suitable for you.