Replacing missing teeth is important for your confidence, comfort, and oral health. Typically, your options are dentures, bridges, or dental implants. If you are like most people, when you hear “denture” you think of a full plate, replacing all of the upper or lower teeth. An often-overlooked option for replacing several, but not all, teeth is a partial denture. In Illinois, patients rely on the expertise of Dr. Dean Dietrich, at Pleasant Dental, to help them understand their options, and make this important decision.

What are partial dentures?

Partial dentures, often simply called “partials,” are a removable alternative to bridges. They consist of replacement teeth, attached to a gum colored base, and sometimes a metal framework. They are held in place by clasps, which slip around existing natural teeth. The supporting teeth may be fitted with dental crowns, to improve the fit of attachments and strengthen the teeth.

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Bridges vs. partials

Replacing missing teeth with partial dentures can improve the appearance of your smile, make eating and speaking easier, and help prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. However, a fixed dental bridge can also accomplish these goals. The better choice depends on your situation and preferences.

Partial dentures are removable, making oral hygiene much easier. Food particles, bacteria, and plaque can become trapped under a dental bridge. Special tools such as bridge floss threaders help remove this buildup, but make your oral hygiene routine more tedious. Inefficient cleaning can lead to decay of the teeth supporting the bridge.

Dental bridges are preferred by some patients because they are permanently attached. Although cleaning under a bridge may be challenging, some people prefer not to remove and replace an appliance regularly.

Making your decision

It is important to choose a skilled, experienced dentist whom you trust. Dr. Dietrich, named a Top Chicago Dentist by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, has been creating beautiful smiles for over 20 years. He can help you choose the best option for your situation. He also offers dental implants, which can securely support nearly any type of fixed or removable restoration. Call (708) 576-1900 today and schedule an appointment to learn more about your options.

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