The Difference Between Dentures, Bridges, & Implants

Dentures, bridges, and implants are all restorative dental care options that can be used to fill in gaps where teeth have been lost or removed. Learn more about their differences and benefits from our Calgary dentists.

What are Dentures?

Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are created by a dentist or denturist and formed to fit your mouth. They replace lost or removed natural teeth and are custom-designed to fit your mouth and are matched as closely as possible to any existing teeth. 

Complete, or full dentures cover the entire top or bottom jaw to replace teeth that are all missing. Partial dentures replace one or multiple teeth in a row that are missing. Both of these options stay in place thanks to their custom-fitted design. A dental adhesive may also be used to help secure your dentures. 

Implant-supported dentures are surgically secured to dental implants in your mouth.

Benefits of Dentures

Dentures help improve your confidence in your smile, assist with chewing, offer support for facial structure and muscles, and reduce bone loss. 

What are Bridges?

A bridge is similar to a partial denture. The key difference is that bridges are not removable. Bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth and extend across an area that has no natural teeth left. Like dentures, bridges are custom-fit and made to match your existing teeth as closely as possible. 

There are a number of different types of dental bridges:

Traditional Bridges - If you have healthy teeth on either side of your bridge, your dentist will file down the healthy teeth so that the bridge can sit comfortably on top of them.

Implant Bridges - If you don’t have healthy teeth or enough teeth to support a bridge, it will need to be supported using dental implants. 

Resin-Bonded Bridges - These are typically only used when you are missing teeth at the front of your mouth. This type of bridge is created by fusing artificial teeth together using metal bands. The bands are then connected to the back of your natural teeth using dental cement.

Cantilever Bridges - These are used when you have healthy teeth on only one side of your missing tooth or teeth. A cantilever bridge is anchored in place by fitting it over one or more of your natural adjacent teeth. Unlike a traditional bridge, a cantilever bridge is only fixed on one side. 

Benefits of Bridges

Dental bridges can provide many benefits, including restoring a natural look to your mouth/smile, restoring the ability to speak normally, helping patients with proper enunciation, maintaining facial structure, helping with eating, and preventing bone loss at the site of the missing tooth.

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial titanium root that is surgically inserted into your jawbone to replace the natural root of a tooth. Implants can be used to hold a single artificial tooth or a bridge of artificial teeth in place. If only one tooth needs to be replaced, then the single tooth is attached to the top of the implant. If several teeth need to be replaced, then a bridge is fitted on top of two anchoring implants.

Dental implants are not suitable for every patient. In order to get dental implants you must be in good health, have healthy gums, and have enough bone in your jaws to support the implant. Patients who do not have enough jawbone to support a dental implant may be candidates for a bone graft to build up enough bone to support an implant. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

There are many reasons patients chose to get dental implants, including improved speech, easier eating, improved oral health. They are also durable, can help with the appearance of your smile, and are not removable, so there is no risk of them falling out at inconvenient times.

Wondering which restorative option is right for your situation? Contact our Calgary dentists today to set up an appointment. 

We're always accepting new patients at our Calgary practice.

Book an appointment with one of our dentists to get the healthy smile you deserve!

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