What to Expect from Removable Dental Bridges

Key Takeaways:

  • Removable dental bridges replace missing teeth.
  • The result is effective and the process is relatively fast and has some cost advantages.
  • Alternatives exist and each has its own pros and cons.
  • Removable bridges have factors that may be off-putting for some patients.

Removable dental bridges – sometimes known as clip-on bridges – are a popular solution to the practical and cosmetic problem of tooth loss. Losing teeth occurs mainly due to tooth decay and/or gum disease that can be mitigated or prevented through regular dental cleanings and checkups. Sometimes losing teeth is due to other factors, such as facial trauma, larger health issues, or overcrowding from surrounding teeth.

A removable bridge can be the perfect solution for patients looking to fill the gaps in their smiles and return to eating and speaking more confidently. This guide will explain how these bridges are created, alternative procedures and types of bridges, and what you must consider before making your final decision.

How Getting a Removable Dental Bridge Works

The process begins when the dentist takes an impression of your teeth to discover the type and shape of bridge that will fit best. The bridge is built from this impression and there are a variety of types to choose from. Removable bridges are traditionally made of acrylic, ceramic, or metal alloy, with more modern developments using nylon-like materials. The dentist will then anchor the bridge to the teeth on either side of any gap, filling the space with a natural-looking tooth.

Your dentist will supply a temporary bridge for you to wear while a more permanent yet still removable piece is made. Removable bridges have several advantages, such as being more cost-effective in their first installation. Dental insurance often covers some of the cost, and the final cost will also be affected by the materials you select for your bridge.

The complete process is typically quick, usually requiring no more than a few visits. Getting a bridge often doesn’t require any additional dental surgery, either, which boosts the patient’s recovery time. Removable bridges are not your only choice to replace missing teeth, however. There are a couple of other options to choose from to help improve your smile.

Alternatives to a Removable Dental Bridge

Personal preference, comfort threshold, and budget are three key factors in every dental decision. It is therefore important to be informed about other possible procedures before deciding on a removable bridge. Here are some alternatives:

Removable Bridge vs. Fixed Bridge

Fixed bridges are more permanent than clip-on bridges. Prosthetic teeth are fitted using crowns attached to the gap-adjacent teeth. Some patients prefer fixed bridges as they can help restore face shape and allow more confidence when eating and speaking.

Dental Implants

Titanium posts are surgically placed into the jawbone where new bone grows around the implant. Artificial teeth are placed and sealed over the implants. Implants have a very natural look, are typically long-lasting, and the process doesn’t affect the surrounding teeth.

It is important to consider the potential disadvantages of fixed bridges and dental implants. Fixed options can be more difficult to clean, placing more responsibility for oral hygiene onto the patient, for example, and implants are less likely to be covered by dental insurance. Implants are also more intensive in terms of how much is needed from both dentist and patient. A bone graft may be necessary in some cases, and the whole procedure can take months to complete. Read our dental implants timeline blog to learn more about how long implants can take.

3 Best Practices with Removable Bridges

The ultimate success of this procedure depends on a joint effort between patient and dentist. Here are the three most important things you can do to play your part in making the entire process go smoothly from the first visit and into the future:

Speak to Your Insurer

Ensuring a bridge is within your budget is a priority. Many dental plans cover at least 50% of the cost, but it’s always best to speak to your provider to make sure you know what you’ll be paying out of pocket.

Maintain Your Bridge Regularly and Safely

A little regular effort to keep the bridge clean and free of plaque and food debris will preserve both the appliance and your oral health. Use clean, cool water and a soft-bristled brush or an interdental brush. Beware of submerging a bridge in cleansing solutions, as they can be abrasive and cause rust.

Care for the Surrounding Teeth

A bridge relies on the teeth adjacent to it, meaning you must not forget to keep them clean and healthy going forward, both for their own health and to ensure they remain strong enough to support your bridge.

Clip-on bridges can complete a smile comfortably for many years. The process is not always smooth, however. There are still a few key factors for patients to consider before deciding on this procedure.

Common Downsides of Removable Bridges

Bridges require a period of adjustment as they’re integrated into your life. This can mean some temporary inconvenience or possibly more serious financial and physical concerns. You must consider how wearing and caring for a bridge can affect you in the short and long term:

  • You may be limited to soft, non-sticky foods for a while.
  • Some patients may need a root canal, which can add further visits to the timeline.
  • The teeth surrounding the gap must be strong enough to support a bridge and may even be damaged by the bridging process.
  • Bridges need to be replaced, usually within a 10- to 15-year window.

Every step in your dental journey requires advice and skillful care from experienced professionals. Speak to a team you can trust to avoid decisions you’ll find uncomfortable to live with.

Contact Our Dental Experts with Questions

The Dental Team can help you choose between the types of removable bridges. We will also help with understanding what your dental plan covers so you can be sure of transparent pricing.

We have ten dental offices conveniently located in Brampton, Milton, Mississauga, and Vaughan/Maple and can provide same-day emergency services. Contact us or call (844) 604-1492 direct for more information.

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