What is the difference between dentures bridges and implants?

Answered by Jason Smith

Dentures, bridges, and implants are all different types of dental restorations used to replace missing teeth. While they serve the same purpose, there are some key differences between them.

1. Dentures:
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are removable dental appliances that replace multiple missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth set on a gum-colored acrylic base that sits on the gums. Dentures can be either partial or full, depending on the number of missing teeth. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while full dentures are used when all teeth are missing.

– Removable and easy to clean.
– Can be a more affordable option compared to bridges or implants.
– Does not require any surgery or invasive procedures.

– May feel less stable and comfortable compared to bridges or implants.
– Can cause gum irritation and soreness initially.
– Need to be removed and cleaned regularly.

2. Bridges:
Dental bridges are fixed restorations used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth called pontics that are supported by dental crowns on adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. The crowns are placed on the natural teeth or implants, while the pontic fills the gap left by the missing tooth.

– More stable and secure compared to dentures.
– Look and function more like natural teeth.
– Do not require removal for cleaning.

– Requires the support of healthy adjacent teeth or dental implants.
– May require some alteration of the adjacent teeth to accommodate the crowns.
– If the supporting teeth or implants are not properly maintained, the bridge may fail.

3. Implants:
Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth. They consist of a titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root. The post fuses with the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration, providing a strong foundation for a dental crown to be placed on top.

– Most natural-looking and functioning option.
– Stimulates the jawbone, preventing bone loss.
– Does not require alteration of adjacent teeth.

– Requires surgery for implant placement.
– Can be more costly compared to dentures or bridges.
– Healing time is required before the final restoration can be placed.

Dentures are removable appliances, bridges are fixed restorations supported by adjacent teeth or implants, and implants are permanent replacements that mimic natural teeth. The choice between these options depends on factors such as the number of missing teeth, the condition of the surrounding teeth, bone health, and personal preference. Consulting with a dentist will help determine the best option for each individual case.