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Prosthodontics

Prosthodontics

 

Nutrition is our life long basic necessity and we fulfill this need through a proper diet and mastication. Our teeth are essential for the mastication process. Aging affects our teeth and gums just like any part of our body and eventually tooth loss can occur. Tooth loss can be treated with various types of prosthetics, depending on the severity.

1. Fixed Prosthetics

2. Removable Prosthetics

3. Implant supported prosthetics

1. Fixed Prosthetics

The existent loss of tooth tissue is restored by fixing a prosthetic on the remaining tooth structure. Patients perceive their fixed prosthesis as their own natural teeth. Crowns that restore a single damaged tooth or the bridges that restore several missing teeth are called fixed prosthetics.

Crowns:

Damage resulting from caries or trauma, causes considerable amount of loss in tooth tissues and evidently weakens its structure. In such cases, fillings are not adequate and the tooth needs to be capped with a metal-ceramic or an all-ceramic restoration to reinforce its strength. This restoration which gives color, shape and function to the damaged tooth is called a crown.

Bridges:

Bridge prosthetics is another way of restoring missing teeth. Missing tooth/teeth are restored by fabricating a bridge using the support of the adjacent teeth. For this reason, the abutment teeth are reduced in size. Bridges are usually composed of an esthetic porcelain material that is supported with a metal substructure to resist mastication forces. However, with today’s technology, it is also possible to make all ceramic dental bridges on some conditions.

2. Removable prosthetics

Removable prosthetics are frequently used to restore teeth loss. In situations which fixed prosthetics are not adequate, a removable prosthetic can replace the missing teeth. When the prosthetic replaces one or more teeth in an arch, it is called a removable partial denture; when it replaces all the teeth in an arch, it is called a removable full denture. Some patients worry that their dentures are apparent and noticed easily. However with today’s technology, it is possible to provide a natural look with dentures and satisfy patients’ expectations and concerns about aesthetics.

If you lost several or all of your teeth, dentures improve your appearance, mastication, biting and phonation. If the missing teeth are not replaced, the remaining teeth are prone to incline towards the edentulous area which at the end results in the failure to masticate or bite properly. Prosthetics can be applied right after tooth extraction; such prosthetics are called immediate dental prosthetics. Dentures are never the same as the patient’s own teeth and it takes time to get used to them. If you are going to use a denture for the first time, your doctor will explain the difficulties of using a denture as well as the advantages and your new appearance due to your denture. Motivation of the patient is crucial for the ability to use a denture.

Removable full dentures are successfully fabricated from acrylic. Removable partial dentures can also be fabricated from acrylic but using an alloy for a part of a removable partial denture reduces its mass. Therefore, a smaller denture is used and a more resistant structure is obtained. This denture is a little bit more expensive.

Cleaning dentures

If you have a removable denture, it is important to keep it clean. Cleaning dentures is easier than cleaning natural teeth since they are removable. Some suggestions:

Clean your denture in a pot filled with water so that if it drops, it doesn’t fracture.

Use a brush with bristles of medium hardness to brush the denture everyday. You can use toothpaste or soap but wash it sufficiently before placing in mouth.

3. Implant supported prosthetics

Implants are used to replace missing teeth. A component of an implant is placed into the bone with a surgery; therefore the patient perceives and uses the implant as his own tooth.

Although implants have lots of advantages, they are not suitable for every patient. Patient should have healthy gums and no severe systemic diseases. Also, adequate volume of bone is needed to place the implant. Some chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and chronic sinusitis affect healing, and cause the failure of the implant.

If you plan on getting implants, you are going to have a surgical operation and the treatment is going to take a few months. Also it should be noted that implant therapy is expensive compared to other alternatives.

Your doctor will inform you about treatment process and in certain conditions, he might direct you to a specialist.

During the operation, doctor exposes the bone in the edentulous area and drills a hole in which the implant is going to be placed. This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia but sedation or general anesthesia can be used if the patient can be hospitalized. Then the tissue is sutured and a few months of healing period is required for the bone to form over the implant to obtain stabilization.