Crowns and Bridges vs Dentures

Which is best?

You have some missing teeth. Or maybe you need to have your teeth pulled. What to do? There are so many choices—and prices!

How exactly are they different?

A crown is a “cap” or “top” fitted over a prepared natural tooth. A bridge is a false tooth or two or more false teeth, suspended between, and attached to, crowns on either side of a section of one or more missing teeth.

A Denture is typically false teeth made, based on your mouth impression. The four types of dentures include:

1.  Complete—all the teeth are replaced, as well as the connecting tissue.

2.  Partials—one or more false teeth clasped to surrounding teeth.

3.  Immediate—dentures which are placed right after the natural teeth are extracted.

4.  Conventional—dentures placed after teeth have been extracted and the gums have completely healed.

The main difference is that crowns and bridges are “fixed”. In other words, no removal for cleaning and treated like your natural teeth. And dentures are typically removed at night or for cleaning.

But there’s now another choice—IMPLANTS.

Implants consist of titanium plugs inserted into the jawbone. These plugs can anchor dentures and your bridge can be attached directly to the jaw or under the gum tissue.

What to choose? Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of these choices.

With traditional full dentures there is a problem with the underlying tissue and bone diminishing—because there’s no tooth roots to hold it. Then the dentures become loose, and have to be relined or refit, periodically. Also, the overall shape of your jaw will change. And there are also the speech problems that can arise, and problems watching what you eat to avoid breakage, or food underneath the denture, irritating your mouth tissue.

Immediate vs. conventional is something to discuss with your dental professional. Everyone is different.

One advantage with removable dentures can be the cost.

Implants can make your dentures more permanent, and negate all the above disadvantages.

The disadvantage with implants could be cost, depending on the extent of your dental work.

As far as partial dentures, these have an advantage over full dentures. However, some do have to be removed for night and cleaning. A bridge or fixed partial denture would be easier to deal with, if that would work for you. You have natural teeth supporting the jawbone and underlying tissue, or you can have implants that accomplish the same thing.

Implants are the newest weapon in the arsenal of ways to protect your jaws and oral tissues—not to mention ease and comfort.

What you have to do is talk to your dental professional about all these choices. There is a lot more information you could have access to. He/she will explain all the advantages and disadvantages in relation to your unique circumstances. If you opt for a more expensive choice, most dental professionals can arrange a payment plan to fit your needs.