In St. Louis, the quest for an amazing smile often leads people to consider fixed partial dentures. But are they the best option for everyone? At St. Louis Dentures and Implants, we believe there are superior options which can better fit your dental needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what fixed partial dentures are, examine their pros and cons, and introduce you to better alternatives: 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 authentic feel. While they offer a viable solution for smile restoration, it’s crucial to weigh all your options before making a decision.

Benefits of Fixed Partial Dentures

  • Natural Appearance: Their primary advantage is a natural look, as they can be matched to the tone of existing teeth for a seamless look.
  • Advanced Usability: Fixed partial dentures fill spaces from missing teeth, restoring functions like speaking and chewing. Plus, their reliable placement allows for a more natural range of motion, allowing clearer speech and enjoyment of a greater variety of foods.
  • Strength: Typically made from durable materials like zirconia or porcelain, they’re built to easily manage daily biting and chewing. And, with care, these offer a lasting option for many people.
  • Fast Placement: It usually takes a few visits to complete this procedure, making it a quick option for those seeking timely dental fixes.

Disadvantages of Fixed Partial Dentures

  • Price: Fixed partial dentures can be a significant financial investment, often costing more than removable dentures. While insurance may pay for a portion, patients often find themselves paying a considerable amount out-of-pocket.
  • Upkeep: These dentures require a precise regular cleaning regimen to prevent decay and gum disease around the bridge. Special flossers or interdental brushes are typically needed to clean underneath the artificial tooth, adding both time and expense to your daily routine.
  • Limited Lifespan: While these may last up to 15 years with regular care, fixed partial dentures are not 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 neighboring teeth for support, which can place unwarranted stress on these teeth. Eventually, this often leads to weakening, decay, or even loss of the adjacent teeth, requiring even more dental work.
  • Bone Degradation: Unlike dental implants, fixed partial dentures do not stimulate the jawbone, which can cause bone loss over time. This can impact facial structure and may require more procedures to correct.
  • Aesthetic Concerns: Over time, the color of the denture might not match the natural aging and discoloration of your existing teeth. Also, gum recession may occur, affecting the appearance and requiring adjustment or replacement of the prosthetic.
  • Complexity with Cases of Multiple Missing Teeth: When multiple teeth are absent from different parts of the mouth, this procedure can become complex and less effective, often requiring a combination of dental procedures which can be both expensive and inconvenient.

While fixed partial dentures offer some advantages, their disadvantages can be troublesome, especially when considering long-term functionality and oral health. If you’re seeking a more comprehensive and durable option, the Teeth-In-A-Day procedure by St. Louis Dentures and Implants may be a better option for you.

Let’s explore why.

What Are Teeth-In-A-Day Dental Implants?

All-On-4 implants, also called “Teeth in a Day,” offer an advanced approach to smile restoration. By using only four to six strategically placed screws, this procedure can support the complete arch of teeth. Not only does it eliminate the need for bone grafting, but it also allows for same-day prosthetic placement, blending perfectly with aesthetics.

Top Features

  • Immediate Usage: Same-day placement gives immediate functional and aesthetic improvement.
  • Strategic Implant Placement: The four to six implants maximize existing bone usage, providing a solid base for prosthetics.
  • Natural Look: Crafted to closely mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.
  • Non-Removable: Fixed in place, providing a more convenient and comfortable experience as these do not need nightly removal for cleaning.
  • Better Quality of Life: Contribute to improved speech, eating ability, and total confidence.
  • Time-Saving: The entire procedure can often be completed in a single day, making it a time-saving option for dental restoration.
  • Long-Term Durability: Engineered for long-term use, often lasting longer than other dental restoration choices.

What are Single Dental Implants?

Single-tooth implants are a fantastic solution for repairing broken or missing teeth in a localized area. These dental implants consist of three main parts:

  • Implant Post (or Body): This foundational component is implanted into the jawbone, providing stability.
  • Abutment: This element connects the implant post to the visible part of the implant.
  • Crown: This element serves as the visible top part of the implant.

Here are some top features of single implants:

  • Natural Appearance: They provide a solid, natural look and feel.
  • Secure Attachment: Once placed, they are attached securely and permanently.
  • Reduced Bone Loss: Single-tooth implants greatly reduce bone loss after the removal of a natural tooth or teeth.
  • No Impact on Adjacent Teeth: Unlike other options, like bridges, single implants do not adversely impact the surrounding teeth.

The procedure typically takes five to six months from beginning to end, including a four-month period for the implant to fuse with the bone. After this, impressions are taken, and the crown is designed and added.

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

Schedule a Free Consult

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