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As a general rule it is always better to keep as many natural teeth as possible. Crowns are a great way to protect the remaining structure of a faulty tooth. Bridges can be constructed to fill in the area where teeth had been lost. The benefits of a bridge is that all of the occlusal (biting) forces are placed on the natural teeth. Therefore there is no pressure compressing on the gums like you experience with a denture. The downside however a bridge is the area underneath the bridge where the bone is shrinking down will get bigger and bigger eventually causing a lot of strain on the bridge. This on top of the food build up commonly seen in old bridges will cause the bridge to fail (break). Likewise if a natural tooth used to support the bridge happens to break under strain the entire bridge will need to be replaced.

The Dentures on the other hand are more adaptable as they are removable so that it is easier to clean. They are also easy to fill in the void areas that are formed by the bone shrinkage. The downside to dentures of course are the pressure on the gums when chewing which can limit the amount of chewing force and therefore ability to chew

harder foods. Dentures also have a tendency to move around in the mouth particularly a lower denture that is replacing all of the dentition in the bottom.

All in all neither is better or worse you must first become informed about the benefits and faults then weigh that with the cost against your personal expectation and lifestyle.

-Splicesomase

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I have crowns, three fixed bridges and had (until recently) a partial plate. My teeth have always been very poorly constructed. Although I brush and floss regularly, they fracture from tip to root easily. My crowns have all been replaced several times. Recently, the anchoring tooth for my partial fractured and had to be removed. In the dentist's office, they had to fix my partial to the roof of my mouth for x-rays, so they used a fix-i-dent product. I decided that I would never be able to tolerate that stuff, so getting dentures will be my last resort. Try some of that stuff in your mouth before you get all your teeth pulled. By the way, dentures are not without problems. They shift, click and can be irritating to your gums, even if they are good quality. If you are as vain as I am, you would rather do anything than be seen without your "teeth in."

Here are more opinions and answers from other FAQ Farmers: * Given many individuals' dental woes despite good hygiene, I propound lead poisoning (plumbous ions, Pb+2) as a probable cause of poorly constructed teeth which fracture or decay easily. I refer you to the page on a "Third Set of Teeth", a naturally ugly set of real teeth rather than implants or dentures designed to look good. The diagnosis and treatment of lead poisoning requires a blood lead test and is beyond dentists. On the other hand, physicians may lack access to dental X-ray records which could show roots grown long into the nose or the later resulting third set of teeth, whose most likely function is to store lead(II) ions which would otherwise cause acute lead encephalopathy (narcolepsy?) or death from lead poisoning. If a lead poisoned patient has selected extractions over crowns, any teeth from the third set with room may grow and erupt. They will be quite different in shape, size, and function. * I have had dental problems with my upper teeth since I was 13. I have spent over 8,000 on repairs. I have had 1 root canal but the crown burst within 1 year and the tooth had to be pulled. I got so tired of the toothachs and pain that I had all my top teeth pulled yestarday and a denture put in place. So far eveyone stares and keeps saying I have a great smile. My husband can't stop staring. It does hurt right now and they told me it will for the next month or so, also I am having a difficult time getting use to the feel of them in my mouth and to speak with them (I sound like I have a large wad of gum in my mouth). So far I'm happy and glad I did it. I know it will be painful at times but I'd rather that then haveing a constant toothach. * Dentures are never better. I recently learned that your jaw bone starts disentegrating when there are no natural teeth in it. This means that if some or all of your teeth are missing and you wear a partial or full denture - your jaw bone, both upper and lower, will start receding. This is why dentures end up having to be replaced periodically, because they don't fit right. Your jaw bone can end up being almost non-existant, with no "ridge" on which a partial or denture can sit. The only way to stop bone loss if you're missing teeth is to get implants - which are very expensive. So, keep your own teeth in your head with the help of root canals and crowns for just as long as you can. * Last comment is absolutely right. Even at a young age, people with dentures develop a receeding jaw line and those sad vertical wrinkles at corners of mouth that are typical for old age. The bone mass quickly disappears unless you take dentures out and massage the gums. Also, the dentures come with artificial gum to prevent food from getting trapped at the real gum line. I don`t have dentures but I can imagine it feels like having an octopus in your mouth all day... I actually have crooked teeth with a few not too obvious fillings. Over the years people told me how much they liked to see "natural teeth". So I decided to keep my crooked appearance over a receeding face with pearly fake whites. * I had no choice but to go the denture route. I was in a serious motorcycle accident and ricocheted off the hood of a pickup truck face first. Beyond dentures I also had to have part of my jaw repaired. I can say this, from the day of the accident until the day after the surgery to remove my teeth , I was unable to smile, show much emotion, talk clearly to people, look people in the eye, or enjoy my life… Did it hurt, every day until 1 month after the surgery? I was on pain pills for 4 years. Luckily, I switched pain medication often enough to not become addicted. The first day that I went without my pain pills was a great day. I was actually awake and aware, my face didn't hurt, and I wore a real, healthy looking, brilliant smile. I am worried about my jaw receding and keeping the stupid things in my face, as I do a lot of public speaking, but for the last year, I can say that I am quite willing to deal with the consequences now that I have my life back. At 34 years old, I wouldn't have imagined being in this position, but there are worse things. Oh, and by the way, the truck looked worse than I did. Crowns are used to replace the structure on an existing tooth where as a denture is used to replace the area where a natural tooth used to be. Therefore a more appropriate questions is "Dentures vs Bridges"

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Q: Are dentures better than a mouth full of crowns?
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