Is it important to have missing teeth replaced in your mouth? After all,
missing teeth in the anterior (front) part of the mouth are unsightly and unattractive
to say the least!……So the answer in this situation is YES!

Missing teeth in the posterior (back) part of the mouth can become problematic
because drifting and over eruption of remaining teeth will occur resulting in
compromising consequences that can and do affect your chewing capabilities.

Whereas a denture can be a substitute for one, two or more missing teeth, or all
of your teeth, a bridge is a type of FIXED denture that can be used to replace one,
two or more teeth.

There are four types of Dentures. Each one is designed to solve a specific problem.
There is the removable complete denture that replaces all of the missing teeth,
The removable partial denture which replaces one or more missing teeth. The fixed
bridge which replaces one or more missing teeth and the intra-osseous implants which
can do the same function.

Although I would never want to have a Complete set of dentures, for the patient who
has had the misfortune of losing all of his or her teeth they are certainly a great
substitute to satisfy the appearance and function of the patient in need!

The removable partial denture is for persons who have lost one or more teeth
and may or may not involve metal clasps and bars for support. The ones without
metal are quite often referred too as economy or transitional partial dentures.
Sometimes they are also called “Flippers”.

The fixed denture or bridge is by far the superior product of choice, providing
cost is not an issue. It is permanently attached to the remaining supportive abutment
teeth that are present on either side of the missing tooth or teeth that are being replaced.

The advantages of the fixed dental bridge are convenience, comfort,functional
efficiency, stability and longevity. If made properly, fixed bridge work will
feel natural and become an integral part of your dentition.

One disadvantage of a fixed bridge over a removable deture is the inability to
remove it and clean it outside of the mouth. The dentist must make sure that a
fixed bridge is designed in such a way that it can be cleaned and maintained as
readily as possible. You must have extremely good hygiene habits to be able to
clean any fixed dental work that is placed in your mouth!

All that being said, if dental bridgework is indicated, feasible to do,and done
properly according to the highest standards of the Dental Profession and maintained
by the patient with good oral hygiene, it can last for many,many years.

The increased use of dental implants are a much more recent and well advanced method
of replacing missing teeth. More and more people who qualify as candidates for dental
implants are receiving this type of treatment with excellent results and a good long-term
prognosis.

The reason I say patients who qualify as good candidates for dental implants is the fact
that not everyone whether you can afford them or not can have dental implants. To be
a good candidate, you must have enough remaining supportive bone in your jaws
where the missing teeth were. And you must be a person who has great hygiene skills.

In my follow-up blog regarding this subject, I will discuss in detail why fixed
bridgework costs so much more than removable dentures.

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