Theriot Family Dental

Is a Partial More Affordable than a Bridge?

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I’m missing a molar on both sides of my lower jaw, and I know I can’t afford implants. So I’m deciding between bridges on each side, or a partial denture to fill those spaces. I’ve lost my dental insurance, so it’s out-of-pocket, so I really need guidance on the best option for me and my pocketbook. Is a partial more affordable than bridges?


Hello Wanda, we hear you. These times are affecting everyone, and they certainly inform our decisions when it comes to medical and dental needs. It’s a great question, so let’s get you some answers:

What Is A “Bridge”?

Dental Bridge

A bridge is a restoration involving abutment (adjacent) teeth that are fitted for crowns, and a fake tooth, or “pontic” (which is fabricated as part of the neighboring crowns, all one piece) suspended between the abutments to fill in the space of a missing tooth. Bridges are permanently fixed into place by a strong dental cement and are not removed, but simply brushed, flossed, and used in the same manner as you would care for your natural teeth. They can be costly, with fees that differ depending upon materials and how many teeth are involved, and of course, you would need two: one on each side.

What Is A “Partial”?

Partial Denture

“Partial” is short for “a removable partial denture”. This is an appliance held in place in your mouth by attachments or clasps. Unlike the dental bridge, it is not fixed into place but is removable. These are fabricated to fill gaps in the mouth and are made of metal, acrylic, or a combination of both materials as needed. Partials are not as stable and secure as bridges, and will likely require occasional adjustments or repairs over their lifetime of use. This can be an added expense you may want to take into consideration.

What Is Best For Me?

Ultimately, fixed bridges will likely feel much sturdier and more natural than partial dentures but are initially more expensive. The decision will depend upon your individual needs and budget. Only once you obtain all the necessary information can you make this final call. One thing I can suggest is that you see someone who advertises as an affordable dentist. These dentists are much more likely to work with you and often even offer payment plans which will allow you to get the best treatment and pay it out in installments.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.