Essenmacher Family Dental

Do you know the difference between a bridge and a partial?

July 31, 2017
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Posted By: Dr. Lindsay M. Essenmacher, DDS
older woman's smile | Dental Bridges in Albuquerque NM | Partial in Albuquerque NM

Many of our patients use the words “bridge” and “partial” interchangeably, but in fact, they are very different products.  What they do have in common is that they are both used to replace missing teeth. Learn more about bridges and partials in Albuquerque, NM.

What is a Bridge?

A bridge is usually only used when only one or two teeth are missing, and the patient either doesn’t want implants or is not a candidate for them.  To receive a bridge, you must have teeth on both sides of the gap.  The teeth on both sides of the space are shaped for crowns, and the bridge is made with the two crowns on the sides connected to the replacement tooth in the middle.  The bridge is most often made out of ceramic and/or metal and is permanently cemented.  You do not take it out of your mouth, and you can care for it just like you would your natural teeth. 

What is a Partial?

In contrast, a partial is used most often when a patient is missing multiple teeth.  It is a removable device, which means that you must take it out of your mouth regularly to clean it.  It can be made completely out of acrylic (plastic), or more often, it is a combination of metal and acrylic.  It is often less natural-looking than implants or bridges because of the clasps, which hook to the teeth to keep the partial from falling out.  However, it is a good option for many people because it is economical and can replace several teeth.

Bridges and Partials in Albuquerque, NM

If you are missing one or more teeth and are interested in learning more about the options available to you, we would be happy to help you navigate your choices! Contact our dental office today. 

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