When a patient has missing or damaged teeth, there are two courses of treatment that Dr. Cloninger will discuss with you. The first is a fixed bridge and the second is a removable partial.
The most permanent option is a fixed bridge. It will feel like it is a part of your mouth, and it is stronger and more durable. A fixed bridge is constructed with crowns covering teeth on both sides, with two-unit prostheses in between. It is permanently cemented in one piece. A fixed bridge is secure and will last many years if you take care of your overall oral health. A fixed bridge does cost a bit more than a removable partial, and in some cases we have to eliminate some of the healthy tooth structure to prep the bridge. However, this is the best option.
Your second option is a removable partial, which will not feel as strong as a fixed bridge. It’s held in the mouth by clamps to your teeth and, like dentures, by adhesion to the soft tissue. This option does allow you to keep more of your tooth, and because it can be removed, it’s easier to keep clean. However, this also means it is easier to damage.
The fixed bridge is a more permanent solution, and it’s usually the most economical choice in the long run. But more importantly, it makes for a higher quality of life in terms of eating, speaking, and showing a brilliant smile. We think you’ll agree that those benefits are priceless.
Ultimately, the decision is yours and we encourage you think about it carefully. If you have any questions, please give us a call. We look forward to seeing you at your next scheduled appointment.