A partial denture is an option for replacing a missing tooth or group of teeth. A partial contains artificial teeth made of dental porcelain. You take it out to clean it like full dentures. For some patients a partial is the best choice, but some patients may be happier with a fixed bridge or dental implants, because partials have some drawbacks. Your cosmetic dentist can help you decide which type of tooth replacement is best for you.
Partial vs. Fixed Bridge
A fixed bridge is similar to a partial, but it is permanent fixed in place. A partial must be removed and cleaned like dentures. It can slip and rub, causing discomfort, and you may not be able to eat all of your favorite foods. You will need to be refitted for your partial and have it replaced every few years.
A fixed bridge stays in place, and you clean and care for it like your natural teeth. It will not slip and rub, and you will not have to replace it on a regular basis. There is no risk of losing a fixed bridge, and it is more convenient than a partial.
A fixed bridge can be anchored to the adjacent teeth with crowns, or it can be anchored with dental implants.
Dental implants are really the preferred choice for most patients. You can have a single implant to replace a single missing tooth, or you can have a fixed bridge anchored by dental implants to replace a group of teeth.
The implant itself helps prevent the bone loss that is so common with dentures and partials, because it replaces the tooth root. Anchoring with dental implants rather than crowns prevents stress on the adjacent teeth.