This treatment option encompasses both partial dentures (for patients missing multiple teeth) as well as complete dentures (for patients missing all their teeth).
Denture fabrication requires multiple appointments to make sure the fit and function of the prostheses is accurate. It’s important for patients to realize that wearing dentures requires patience and frequent adjustments until they are fully comfortable. A typical pair of dentures can last 5-7 years.
For patients missing 1-3 teeth with good and sound adjacent teeth, a bridge can be an excellent option to restore function. A dental bridge is a fixed prosthesis (not removed by patient), it requires teeth adjacent to the missing tooth area to be prepared (removal of about 1-1.5 mm tooth structure), the bridge is then fitted (lab fabricated) onto the adjacent teeth with a pontic (fake tooth) where the missing tooth would be. This procedure requires 2 appointments. Bridges typically last 8+ years. It’s important for patients to realize that one can still have cavities with teeth covered by the bridge, thus hygiene is very important, and typically a specialized floss is used make sure no food is trapped under the fake tooth.