In Indiana, the quest for an amazing smile often leads people to think about fixed partial dentures. But are they the best option for everyone? At Indiana Dentures and Implants, we believe there are superior alternatives that can better fit your dental needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll review what fixed partial dentures are, explore 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 that 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 these offer a viable solution for smile restoration, it’s crucial to review all your options before making a determination.

Benefits of Fixed Partial Dentures

  • Natural Look: Their primary benefit is a natural look, as they can match the tone of remaining teeth for a seamless look.
  • Advanced Usability: They fill gaps from missing teeth, restoring functions such as chewing and speaking. Also, the stable placement allows for a more natural range of motion, enabling clearer speech and enjoyment of a greater variety of foods.
  • Strength: Often made from durable materials like zirconia or porcelain, they’re designed to handle daily chewing and biting. And, with regular upkeep, they offer a lasting option for many people.
  • Quick Placement: It usually takes a few visits to finish the procedure, making it a quick option for people looking for timely dental fixes.

Problems with Fixed Partial Dentures

  • Cost: Fixed partial dentures are often a significant financial investment, often costing more than traditional dentures. While insurance may pay for a portion, patients often find themselves paying a considerable amount out-of-pocket.
  • Maintenance: These dentures need a precise regular cleaning regimen to prevent decay and gum disease around the bridge. Specialized flossers or interdental brushes are often needed to clean beneath the prosthetic tooth, adding both time and expense to your daily routine.
  • Limited Lifespan: While they may last up to 15 years with regular care, fixed partial dentures are not meant to be a lifetime solution. Over time, they may require repair or replacement, incurring additional fees and dental visits.
  • Potential for Damage: They rely on adjacent teeth for stability, which can place unnecessary force on these teeth. Over time, this often leads to weakening, decay, or even loss of the supporting teeth, requiring further dental work.
  • Bone Loss: Unlike dental implants, fixed partial dentures don’t stimulate the jawbone, which can cause loss of bone over time. This can impact facial structure and may require more procedures to correct.
  • Aesthetic Issues: Over time, the color of the denture might not match the natural aging and discoloration of your remaining teeth. Additionally, gum recession may occur, affecting the look and requiring adaptation or replacement of the denture.
  • Difficulty in Cases of Several Missing Teeth: When multiple teeth are missing from different parts of the mouth, the procedure can become intricate and ineffective, often requiring a combination of dental procedures which 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 looking for a more comprehensive and long-term option, the All-On-4 procedure by Indiana Dentures and Implants may be the superior option for you.

Let’s review why.

What Are Teeth-In-A-Day Implants?

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

Top Features

  • Immediate Usage: Same-day placement offers immediate aesthetic and functional improvement.
  • Tactical Implant Placement: The four to six implants maximize the use of existing bone, providing a firm foundation for prosthetics.
  • Natural Look: Crafted to closely mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.
  • Permanent: Secured in place, providing a more convenient and comfortable experience as they do not require nightly removal for cleaning.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Contribute to improved speech, eating capabilities, and overall confidence.
  • Time-Saving: The complete procedure can often be completed in just one day, making it a time-efficient option for smile restoration.
  • Long-Term Durability: Engineered for long-term use, frequently outlasting other smile restoration options.

What are Single Implants?

Single-tooth implants are an excellent solution for repairing damaged or missing teeth in a small area. These implants consist of three main elements:

  • Implant Post (or Body): This foundational element is placed into the jaw, providing strength and stability.
  • Abutment: This element attaches the foundation post to the visible part of the implant.
  • Crown: This component serves as the visible “tooth” part of the implant.

Here are some key features of single-tooth implants:

  • Natural Look: They provide a solid, natural look and feel.
  • Secure 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-tooth implants will not adversely affect 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 bone. After this, impressions are taken, and the crown is created 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 result in a more comprehensive and long-lasting solution. At Indiana Dentures and Implants, we offer 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.