In dentistry, and especially in the art of replacing lost teeth, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Like fingerprints, your smile is unique in size, shape, and specifications, and if there comes a time when you need to replace one or more lost teeth, then your replacements must be custom-designed to specifically restore your smile. Today, we describe the most common dental prosthetics used for modern teeth replacement, and which one might be right for you.
Aptly named, a dental bridge closes the gap left by one or more consecutive lost teeth. The prosthetic consists of the appropriate amount of replacement teeth situated between two attached dental crowns, which are secured to the remaining teeth adjacent to the empty space (called abutment teeth). Typically used to replace a single lost tooth or multiple teeth in a row, a dental bridge may not be suited for patients who’ve lost more than one tooth in various areas of the mouth.
A partial denture is designed to handle more severe tooth loss than a dental bridge, especially when your lost teeth are dispersed rather than adjacent to each other. Unlike a full denture, a partial denture is crafted to fit around your remaining teeth, with your dental replacements situated in place of your missing ones. If you’ve lost all of your teeth, or your remaining teeth are diseased or damaged and are no longer worth saving, then you may require a full denture, rather than a partial.
Full dentures are the more popular form of dentures, and have existed longer than their partial cousins. A full denture consists of a row of replacement teeth set on a gum-colored base that’s secured to your gums using special adhesives. When you’ve lost all of your teeth on a single dental ridge, a full denture can help restore your full smile and your mouth’s ability to function properly again.