Bridges and Dentures
The term “bridge” is frequently misunderstood and mistakenly associated with partial dentures. Despite the common confusion, there are distinct differences between the artificial tooth unique to bridges and the false teeth unique to whole and partial dentures.
Perhaps the most significant difference between bridges and dentures is the permanence of the item. A dental bridge is not unlike a false tooth, in that it is permanently affixed to the inside of the mouth. Dentures, however, are artificial teeth that can be removed and replaced.
Both bridges and dentures are used to replace missing teeth. Both are artificial teeth designed to appear natural and improve dental function following the loss or extraction of natural teeth. Dentures and bridges are also similar in their development: both require a more substantial amount of time to effectively fabricate.
Bridges: Cost and Recommendations
Dental bridges are used for the permanent replacement of a lost tooth or lost teeth. There are a few types of dental bridges, including Maryland bridges and cantilever bridges, and each type is used to target a specific tooth loss need and personal preference.
How Much Do Bridges Cost?
The cost of bridges varies from place to place and insurance company to insurance company. Dental insurance usually covers some amount of the cost of a bridge. Even so, bridges can cost anywhere from $1,500 to several thousand dollars, depending on the type of bridge being utilized and the extensive nature of the procedure. A Maryland bridge will typically cost less than a cantilever bridge.
When Bridges Are Recommended
Bridges are often recommended for individuals who have lost a tooth or a few teeth but have healthy teeth on either side of the lost tooth or teeth. These teeth, called abutment teeth, are used as an anchor on either side of the gap. Dental crowns or bonding materials are placed on top of or behind teeth to effectively anchor the false tooth over the gap.
Bridges Versus Implants
Dental implants differ from dental bridges in one important way: the method of affixing the tooth. Implants are designed to permanently take the place of a lost tooth just as bridges are, but they screw directly into the jaw bone and more effectively combat bone loss following tooth loss or extraction. Bridges do not screw directly into bone, and therefore do not offer the same protection against bone loss. Comparatively, bridges are far less expensive than implants, and may be more likely to be covered by insurance.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Bridges are aesthetically pleasing and are often covered at least in part by insurance plans. Bridges provide bright, white teeth when a tooth or multiple teeth have been lost, without conducting an invasive procedure. The healing involved revolves around the abutment teeth rather than the missing tooth, as the tooth being replaced is not actually placed into the jaw and bone loss may occur as a result.
Dentures: Cost and Recommendations
Dentures are most commonly seen in elderly populations, but they can also be used in younger populations who have experienced substantial tooth loss or extraction. Dentures come in two types: whole and partial. Partial dentures, as their name suggests, are dentures that replace only some teeth in one or both jaws. Whole dentures replace the entirety of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw.
How Much Do Dentures Cost?
Dentures are among the most affordable tooth replacement options available, and they are typically covered by basic dental insurance plans. Dentures typically cost around $1300 for whole dentures and under $1,000 if only partial dentures are required.
The cost of dentures can also be impacted by the presence of temporary dentures during fabrication and the potential necessity for tooth extraction or other preparatory procedures prior to the final fitting and creation of dentures. Appropriate fit is essential for maintaining your dentures and oral health, and failing to correctly fit dentures can make the appliances much more expensive.
When Dentures Are Recommended
Dentures are recommended when teeth are lost and a bridge or implant is not a possibility. Time and money constraints can recommend dentures over implants and other permanent fixtures. Because dentures are affordable and non-invasive, they are frequently considered ideal teeth replacements for people with diabetes and other conditions that might negatively impact their ability to heal.
Dentures may also be recommended for people who have lost several teeth in a row; in order to support a bridge, there have to be healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Dentures Versus Bridges and Implants
Dentures come in either whole or partial iterations, but they remain separate from bridges and implants. Bridges require healthy abutment teeth and are installed using crowns. Implants do not require healthy teeth, and there are dental implants or implant-retained dentures that are used to replace a full set of teeth. These replacements involve creating a panel of false teeth that are screwed into the jaw in sections.
Implants are designed to offer a permanent solution to tooth loss just as dentures are, but they are not removed and are treated almost identically to natural teeth.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Dentures are affordable and can help restore chewing function and aesthetic appearance for individuals who have lost some teeth (or all of their teeth). They are relatively easy to care for, and most dentists have at least a passing familiarity with the process of measuring and sending out for dentures.
Although the benefits of dentures are numerous, there are some drawbacks. Dentures, as removable appliances, are not able to impede bone loss, and people with dentures will experience recession of the gums. This recession may require changes to dentures, and finding the ideal fit can take several months.
Finding Dentures and Bridges in Hermitage, TN
Finding a dentist to effectively procure dentures and dental bridges is not impossible. A dentist who is familiar with emerging dental technology is ideal, as these dentists will have more exposure to the latest techniques to make sure oral health is supported and patients feel safe and comfortable. These dentists are also more likely to keep up with the latest techniques used to administer dental services.
Our dental office in Hermitage, TN, provides the best in technology and facilities. We understand that all dental procedures, from bridge placement to denture fittings, can be a source of fear and anxiety. We offer the best possible facilities to combat dental anxiety. Schedule an appointment today to learn more!