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Alternatives including pros and cons

Loss of teeth can be divided into two categories:

1. Loss of all teeth
2. Loss of some teeth

Dentures are a frequently used solution for patients who have lost all of their teeth.
Classic dentures give people in this category a functional set of teeth. For this solution, the new teeth are attached to a flesh-coloured plastic base.

On the upper jaw, the dentures are attached to the palate by suction. This can reduce the sense of taste, as the plastic plate covers the palate. On the lower jaw, the dentures are attached to the alveolar ridge. However, this is often thin and low, which limits the amount of grip. Furthermore, as the roots no longer exert pressure on the jawbone, the jaw will shrink.

As a result, the dentures no longer fit properly, come loose more easily and can cause painful sores.

If some, but not all teeth are missing, there are three alternatives:

  • tooth-coloured plastic prosthesis containing the missing elements. This is a removable construction.
  • frame, which is a removable metal-based prosthesis with visible metal hooks that ensure better grip.
  • bridge, which is a fixed construction. The teeth adjacent to the gap are filed and serve as anchors for the bridge. The bridge is then adhered to these teeth.

Advantages of dentures:

  • No surgical procedure required.
  • Cheaper in the short term.

Disadvantages of dentures:

  • Limited chewing ability.
  • Dentures often come loose, which can result in difficulty eating/talking.
  • Pressure sores can be created in the mouth.
  • The jaw shrinks as a result of reduced pressure on the bone.
  • The sense of taste can be affected.
  • Badly fitting dentures can affect pronunciation.
  • The results can be aesthetically displeasing.
  • Dentures can lead to insecurity and social isolation.

Advantages of a bridge:

  • No surgical procedure required.
  • An aesthetically pleasing solution.

Disadvantages of a bridge:

  • The filing of the adjacent teeth can damage them or cause decay.
  • Healthy tissue is lost when filing the adjacent teeth (abutment/anchor teeth). Healthy elements must therefore be sacrificed to fill the gap.
  • Tooth decay can occur around the edges of the bridge.
  • The lack of force on the bone between the anchor teeth can cause the jaw to shrink.
  • The increased chewing force can result in premature loss of the anchor teeth.
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In case of an emergency outside office hours please contact the Tandarts Spoed Praktijk


Kliniek voor Tandheelkundige Implantologie
Egelenburg 152
1081 GK Amsterdam
The Netherlands