Dental partials, also known as a dental bridges, cover the gap when one or more consecutive teeth are missing. The alternative to a dental partial is a dental implant, which directly replaces the tooth with an implanted post and a crown.
A missing tooth or teeth can cause a lot of problems. Depending on where the gap is, it can interfere with your speech and ability to chew. In some cases, it can even cause the appearance of an uneven face. If gaps are visible, they can also make a person very self-conscious.
How attractive your smile is connects with a number of factors including self-esteem, how others see you, first impressions, and more. However, bridges are much more than a smile corrector. Dental partials are an essential way to properly distribute your bite and prevent nearby teeth from shifting.
What are Dental Partials Made of?
The actual "false teeth," as they were often referred to in the past, for dental partials can be made from a number of materials including resin, ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, and metals. All have different benefits and potential drawbacks. Metals are much stronger than resin, ceramic, or porcelain, but of course don’t look like your natural teeth. However, since they are also much more affordable, they are popular picks if you need a bridge that isn’t visible. Bridges in front teeth often feature a naturally colored material.
How do Dental Partials Stay in Place?
Many times partials require a dental crown on either side of the gap, and then full false teeth are placed in between. In this case, the crowned teeth are called “abutment teeth” because they are truly anchoring the false teeth in place.
There are two other types of bridges, and your Phoenix dentist will help you decide which fits best. Cantilever bridges are used when it’s only possible to have one abutment tooth (such as when it’s your farthest back tooth missing). Usually, cantilevers only replace one missing tooth.
Finally, Maryland bonded bridges (also known as a resin-bonded bridge) use a special plastic material for the teeth. They are held in place with a metal skeleton with metal wings on the bridge sides. This is the least common option, but in some cases it will be your best match. Talk with your dentist about options for you.
How Many Appointments are Needed for Dental Partials?
Generally it will take at least two appointments to completely fit you with your partials. If you are concerned about how much time it will take, make sure to tell our staff and get details specific to your partials placement.
In general, your Phoenix dentist will follow the usual crown placement procedure for the abutment teeth, which will likely include filing and re-shaping these teeth so they are the strongest anchor possible. In some cases, you may be given “bonds” or temporary teeth until your crown arrives (only in cases where the crowned teeth are very visible). After that, the bridge will be fitted into place.
Dental Partials vs Dental Implants
Getting bridges in Phoenix can be a less invasive and more affordable option compared to implants. Implants require a post to fuse to the jawbone and can take several weeks; on the other hand, bridges can be placed fairly quickly—often in just two appointments. There is no dental surgery required, although some patients need a deep cleaning prior to crown placement. Many insurance policies may partially cover bridges, and our reputable Phoenix dental office will help communicate with your insurance company.
Dental implants are the most modern way to replace missing teeth. Unfortunately, insurance companies still consider this procedure to be cosmetic. When you are considering how to replace your missing tooth or teeth, be sure to ask Dr. Scott Connell and his team about the benefits of dental implants or partials.
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