If you have damaged or missing teeth, there are several options available to choose from to restore the appearance and function of your teeth. Two of the top choices are dentures and bridges, and while they may seem similar at first glance and serve the same purpose in the end, these dental appliances do have several key differences between them.
How are dentures and bridges different?
Dentures and bridges are both meant to replace teeth that have been damaged for one reason or another and therefore removed or are otherwise missing for any number of reasons. But there are a few main differences between them:
Partial Dentures vs Bridges
Partial dentures and bridges offer the most direct comparison between these two dental appliances, as they both aim to replace only several teeth. The main difference here is that partial dentures are removable and can be snapped into place, while bridges are permanent and cannot be removed.
Dentures vs Bridges Cost
Another significant difference between dentures and bridges is the cost. An average full set of dentures will usually end up costing about $1000, while a bridge that replaces just one tooth will likely cost over $2,000. The materials that are used in dentures and bridges are similar, but the process of installing a dental bridge is far more extensive than putting in a set of dentures- which is a major factor in the difference in cost. The teeth that will serve as anchors for the bridge must be prepped, which is one part of the higher cost, and the local anesthesia that is used during the installation procedure is another price factor that is important to remember.
Dentures vs Bridges Pros and Cons
Making the decision between a bridge vs denture would be the best option for you requires weighing the cost and benefit of several different points- to make this process easier, check out the simplified pros and cons list below:
Denture vs Bridge Pros and Cons
|PROS||More affordable||Less durable|
|Can replace a greater number of teeth||Reduced functionality compared to natural teeth, implants, or bridges|
|It can either be fixed or removable|
|Provides a similar level of functionality to natural teeth||Not removable|
Choosing between dentures and bridges: which is right for you?
Taking the time to consider the pros and cons of dental bridges vs dentures is one way to help bring you closer to a decision of which is the right treatment for you. Outside of the pros and cons of dentures and bridges themselves, however, there are other factors that provide additional context for looking at those pros and cons.
Age is one variable that you should be sure to spend some time thinking about when deciding between bridges vs dentures. Given that bridges are more permanent, and the process of installing them can be more extensive than some types of dentures, this makes them an appealing option for younger patients who might be dealing with tooth loss for a long period of time. Dentures present a less invasive and simpler solution for older individuals, particularly if tooth loss and damage occur later in life. With this being said, however, age remains only one factor, and choosing the best option remains a personal decision that is influenced by other variables.
Lifestyle & Habits
The way a person goes about their day-to-day life can certainly play a role in choosing between a dental bridge vs dentures. Thinking about the question of how do dentures work and understanding that many varieties must be removed to be cleaned is important to remember. For instance, if you would prefer not to have to worry about taking your dentures in and out to eat and tend to be busier, perhaps bridges would be the better choice. On the other hand, if you don’t want to go through the procedure of having bridges put in and don’t mind having to put in and remove dentures, then it might make more sense for you to go the opposite route. Denture care and caring for dental bridges is something else to think about, as each has slightly different requirements, and one might be preferable to the other.
As discussed in the preceding sections, the cost of dentures and bridges and your personal finances will play a role in choosing your best fit for dental appliances. Bridges are unquestionably more expensive than dentures, so you must carefully consider whether their benefits outweigh their higher cost in light of your individual financial situation.
Depending on whether or not you have remaining teeth to act as anchors for a bridge, you might be able to. If you do not have teeth close to the missing tooth or teeth, then bridges would unfortunately not be an option.
Yes, it is possible that you would be able to find options for partial dentures that may be cheaper than a bridge.
The alternatives to a dental bridge include dentures, a partial denture, or dental implants. Implants vs dentures present another set of variables to consider, and you should do your research into implants as well if they are of interest to you.
What about a bridge vs partial denture? A partial denture is not inherently better than a bridge. As discussed in greater detail above, there are pros and cons to each of these options, and the best choice for one individual might not be the best choice for someone else. To determine whether a partial denture or bridge would be the best for you, check out the pros and cons list above.