Fixed vs. Removable Bridges

Fixed vs. Removable Bridges

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There are many factors to be considered when making a decision over having a fixed bridge or a removable bridge. Ultimately, it is the dentist’s evaluation of your remaining teeth, gum tissue, bone, lip and cheek support that will determine the appropriate option for you. As a general rule, patients who have lost all their teeth, but have not lost significant bone, a fixed bridge will most likely be recommended as the appropriate option. On the other hand, patients who have lost all their teeth including significant bone, facial and lip support, a removable bridge or “overdenture” is a likely recommended option. An evaluation by your dentist in Mississauga is required before having one.

Removable Bridge or Overdenture

Removable bridge, partial denture, or removable overdenture – they all refer to removable dentures usually consisting of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework. The metal framework is attached to the natural teeth with clasps – thin metal wire-like extensions from the framework that helps keep the denture in place during speaking and eating.

The following advantages are offered by a removable overdenture:

  • Removable Bridge or Overdenture -- dental office port creditAesthetics. A removable and stable denture supported by implants not only replaces lost tissue but it also re-establishes facial harmony which can result in a remarkably beautiful appearance.
  • Speech enhancement. This is a major factor in rating a denture. All implant supported bridgework or dentures, especially on the upper jaw, may alter speech. However, for patients who have previously worn overdenture, speech is said to be better with a removable denture than a fixed bridge.
  • Oral Hygiene. It is critical and important to be able to access and clean the tissues surrounding the underlying implants. Removable bridge offers this advantage.
  • Long-term Maintenance. A well-designed overdenture offers easier and cost-effective long-term maintenance.

Fixed or Permanent Bridges

Fixed bridges are used to replace the gap or space where one or more teeth have been lost. Fixed bridges are cemented or bonded to the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth. Only the dentist can remove fixed bridges. A fixed bridge made of porcelain bonded to gold alloy may be the most natural looking restoration possible for the missing teeth.

Fixed bridge can:

  • Fixed or Permanent Bridges -- dentist port creditRestore your smile. This is largely due to the fact that fixed bridges look like natural teeth and the fixed bridges help maintain the natural shape of the face.
  • Restore the normal mouth functions (chewing and speaking). After getting adjusted to it, chewing and speaking are nothing different from the way they are done with natural teeth.
  • Maintain the shape of your face. Facial appearance is improved.
  • Distribute the forces in your bite properly. This is achieved by replacing missing teeth.
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position caused by the missing tooth.
  • Last for 10 -1 5 years, with good oral and dental hygiene.
  • Allow brushing the same as brushing natural teeth – no need to remove as in removable bridge or denture. Special flossing instructions are given to keep the bridge and the surrounding tissue healthy.
Dr. Allan Hawryluk
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Dr. Allan Hawryluk

Allan Hawryluk Jr. is a Mississauga-based dentist who has built a reputation for comprehensive dental care. Born and raised in Port Credit, he returned after completing his dental residency in 2003 at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center. He feels privileged to serve the community and is committed to maintaining our clinic standards set by his late father - Dr. Allan R. Hawryluk (Sr).