Fixed or Removable? Pros and Cons of Bridges and Partial Dentures

Darkening a tooth makes for a great Halloween gag. But missing a real tooth is no laughing matter. Replacing it is critical to long-term dental and overall health. So how do you decide between fixed and removable replacement options?

Advantages of a fixed bridge

One fixed option is a bridge, or a fixed partial denture, a restoration that fills the space where one or more teeth have been lost. A fixed bridge is bonded or cemented into place — only a dentist can remove it.

Bridges are great because they:

  • look, feel and function like natural teeth.
  • don’t require removal for cleaning.
  • may cost less than implants.

Bridges are not so great because they:

  • are likely to be more expensive than removable partials
  • affect the teeth next to the bridge
  • may require extra effort to clean under the false tooth

Advantages of a removable partial

A removable partial denture features replacement teeth fixed to a plastic base (possibly covering a metal framework) that matches the color of your gums. They can be easily taken out of the mouth for cleaning and often have some form of clasp that attaches to your natural teeth.

Partial dentures are great because they:

  • are usually less expensive than fixed bridges or implants.
  • are usually easier to repair than fixed bridges.

Partial dentures are not so great because they:

  • can be less stable than other choices.
  • can break or be lost.
  • can be uncomfortable.
  • can be embarrassing to some people when they remove them at night and for cleaning.
  • may need more frequent replacement than other options.

Find out how we’ve helped people decide upon the best technique for restoring their smile by downloading our free ebook Before and After Dental Work. To meet with east side Milwaukee dentists who can help you decide between fixed and removable, make an appointment today.