We all hope to keep our natural teeth for life, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Attractive, seemingly healthy teeth can be easy to take for granted. Maybe you didn’t think you needed a dentist, and you could afford to skip brushing once in a while…

Unfortunately, many people don’t take their dental problems seriously until pain or cosmetic concerns drive them to the dentist’s chair. When you see Dr. Dietrich, you won’t be confronted with lectures, judgment, or criticism. He is here to help, with several excellent solutions to offer. One of the most common tooth replacement options is a dental bridge. While that may sound simple, there are actually many types of bridges.

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Traditional crown-and-bridge unit

If you are missing a single tooth, and you have strong teeth on both sides of the gap, then you are probably a candidate for a classic dental bridge. It is a complete unit, composed of three parts fused together. At each end is a dental crown, and they are fitted over the teeth on both sides of the gap. A pontic (false tooth) is fused between the crowns, filling the gap. Occasionally, variations of this design may be used to accommodate more than one tooth, or a gap that only has a tooth on one side. If several teeth in a row are missing, a bridge is not ideal, unless one or more implants are placed to provide extra support in the middle.

Maryland bridge

Known as a resin bonded bridge or Maryland bonded bridge, this appliance does not utilize crowns. Instead, the false tooth is supported by a frame, usually made of metal. Tabs or “wings” on the sides of the bridge are cemented to the adjacent teeth, holding the appliance firmly in place.

Removable bridge

Generally, bridges are not removable; they are permanently attached to teeth or dental implants. A “removable bridge” is a rarely used term, referring to a partial denture.

Implant supported dental bridge

You often see comparisons of implants versus bridges, but they don’t have to be separate. A traditional bridge is supported by teeth, but a newer, more versatile type of bridge is used with implants. Each bridge is customized for the individual patient, according to the number, location, and configuration of missing teeth.

Dr. Dietrich will be happy to help you choose the best solution for your individual needs. Just call (708) 576-1900 and schedule a consultation at Pleasant Dental®. Our office is conveniently located in Dolton, IL, just a short drive from Riverdale.

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