In Tacoma, the quest for an amazing smile can lead people to research fixed partial dentures. But are they the ideal solution for everyone? At Tacoma Dentures and Implants, we believe there are superior alternatives that can better fit your dental needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what fixed partial dentures are, explore their pros and cons, and introduce you to better options: All-On-4 and single implants.

What Are Fixed Partial Dentures?

Fixed partial dentures, commonly known as dental bridges, are non-removable prosthetics which fill the gaps left by missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures, they are cemented on top of existing teeth or implants, providing a more stable and natural feel. While they offer a viable solution for dental restoration, it’s crucial to review all your options before making a determination.

Benefits of Fixed Partial Dentures

  • Natural Look: The main benefit is a natural look, as they can be matched to the tone of remaining teeth for a seamless look.
  • Enhanced Functionality: They fill spaces from missing teeth, restoring functions such as chewing and speaking. Also, the stable placement allows for a more natural range of motion, allowing clearer speech and enjoyment of a greater variety of foods.
  • Durability: Typically made from resilient materials like zirconia or porcelain, fixed partial dentures are designed to handle daily biting and chewing. Also, with care, they provide a lasting option for many.
  • Fast Installation: It typically takes a few visits to finish the procedure, making it a fast solution for those seeking timely dental fixes.

Problems with Fixed Partial Dentures

  • Price: Fixed partial dentures are often a considerable financial investment, often costing more than removable dentures. While insurance may cover a portion, people often find themselves paying a considerable amount out-of-pocket.
  • Upkeep: These dentures require a meticulous daily cleaning regimen to prevent gum disease and decay around the bridge. Special flossers or interdental brushes are typically needed to clean underneath the prosthetic tooth, adding both time and expense to your daily routine.
  • Limited Lifespan: While they may last up to 15 years with proper care, these dentures are not meant to be a lifetime solution. Over time, they might require repair or replacement, incurring extra fees and office visits.
  • Potential for Damage: Fixed partial dentures rely on adjacent teeth for stability, which can put unnecessary force on these teeth. Over time, this can lead to decay, weakening, or even loss of the adjacent teeth, requiring even more dental work.
  • Bone Degradation: Unlike teeth implants, fixed partial dentures do not stimulate the jawbone, which can cause bone loss over time. This can impact facial structure and may require additional procedures to correct.
  • Aesthetic Issues: Over time, the color of the denture might not match the natural aging and discoloration of your remaining teeth. Also, gum recession may occur, affecting the appearance and requiring adaptation or replacement of the prosthetic.
  • Difficulty in Cases of Multiple Missing Teeth: When multiple teeth are missing in different parts of the mouth, this procedure can become complex and less effective, often requiring multiple dental solutions that can be both expensive and cumbersome.

Although fixed partial dentures offer some benefits, their disadvantages can be significant, especially when considering long-term oral health and functionality. If you’re seeking a more comprehensive and long-term solution, the All-On-4 procedure by Tacoma Dentures and Implants may be the superior choice for you.

Let’s explore why.

What Are All-On-4 Dental Implants?

All-On-4 implants, also known as “Teeth in a Day,” offer a revolutionary method of smile restoration. Through the use of just four to six strategically placed screws, this operation can support an entire arch of teeth. Not only does it remove the need for bone grafting, but it also allows for immediate prosthetic placement, blending practicality with aesthetics.

Stand-Out Features

  • Immediate Loading: Same-day placement gives immediate aesthetic and functional improvement.
  • Tactical Implant Placement: The four to six implants maximize the use of existing bone, providing a solid base for prosthetics.
  • Natural Appearance: Designed to closely mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.
  • Non-Removable: Secured in place, providing a more convenient and comfortable experience as these don’t require nightly removal to clean.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Contribute to improved speech, eating ability, and total confidence.
  • Time-Saving: The complete procedure can often be finished in just one day, making it a time-saving option for smile restoration.
  • Longevity: Engineered for long-term use, often outlasting other smile restoration choices.

What are Single-Tooth Dental Implants?

Single-tooth implants are a fantastic solution for restoring chipped or missing teeth in a small area. These dental implants are comprised of three main parts:

  • Implant Post (or Body): This foundational component is implanted into the jawbone, providing a solid base.
  • Abutment: This component links the anchor post to the visible part of the implant.
  • Crown: This component serves as the visible top part of the implant.

Here are some key features of single-tooth implants:

  • Natural Look: They offer a solid, natural look and feel.
  • Firm Attachment: Once placed, these types of implants are attached permanently and securely.
  • Less Bone Loss: Single-tooth implants significantly minimize bone loss after the removal of a natural tooth or teeth.
  • No Impact on Adjacent Teeth: Unlike other options, such as bridges, single implants do not negatively impact the surrounding teeth.

The procedure often takes five to six months from beginning to end, including a four-month period for the implant to integrate into the jawbone. After this, impressions are taken, and the crown is fabricated and placed.

All-On-4 Implants vs. Single Implants vs. Fixed Partial Dentures: A Tabular Comparison

CriteriaFixed Partial DenturesAll-On-4 ImplantsSingle Implants
AppearanceNatural but variesConsistently naturalHighly natural
Durability5-15 yearsDesigned for longevityLong-lasting with proper care
CostVaries, often expensiveMore cost-effective in the long runMost expensive upfront
MaintenanceRequires careful cleaningEasier maintenanceEasiest to maintain
Installation TimeMultiple visitsSingle day procedureMultiple visits, longer healing time
Bone Grafting NeededNoUsually not neededOften required
FunctionalityEnhanced but limitedMost functionalHighly functional

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While fixed partial dentures provide a solution for missing teeth, All-On-4 implants provide a more comprehensive and long-lasting solution. At Tacoma Dentures and Implants, we provide a personalized approach at competitive prices. Don’t settle for less; contact us today and take the first step towards a brighter, more confident smile.