Town East Dental Group

What is the difference between a bridge and a partial?

Both bridges and partial dentures address the esthetic problem of missing teeth, which is a big gap in your smile. The difference is in the way that they work.

If you have random gaps in your smile, we will design a partial denture with artificial teeth that fit into the empty spaces like a puzzle. The partial sits on your gums and is held in place with clasps that attach to adjacent teeth. You can remove partial dentures as needed or for oral hygiene. 

A bridge is a prosthetic that fills in the gap left by a missing tooth. It is a three-piece unit that consists of an artificial tooth called a pontic that has a dental crown on either side. The pontic sits in the space, and the crowns are placed on adjacent teeth on either side to stabilize it and restore function.

Regarding lifespan, we usually recommend replacing partial dentures every five years or so. A dental bridge that’s properly cared for with good oral hygiene and routine visits can last much longer; a bridge can last anywhere from five and fifteen years or longer.

If you have missing teeth and aren’t sure whether a partial denture or bridge is the right choice for your situation, please call Town East Dental Group. Dr. RJ Loera will explain all your options and help you decide which approach best fits your needs.