Prosthodontics, also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry, is the area of dentistry that focuses on dental prostheses. The ADA defines it as “the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.
There are different ways to replace missing teeth, such as bridges or partial dentures. Bridges and Dentures may be fixed or removable.
At our dental clinic, we utilize IPS Empress Porcelain, amongst other conventional materials, for natural looking teeth. Our dental center provides the full range of dental treatments services for bridges/crowns, complete or partial dentures and dental implants.
Benefits of Prosthetics
The benefits of fixing missing teeth using dentures and bridges include:
- Prevents existing teeth from drifting into surrounding space of the missing teeth
- Teeth out of position can damage tissues in the mouth
- The difficulty of thorough cleaning between crooked teeth runs the risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease that can lead to the loss of additional teeth
- Improves out your smile
- Helps to properly chew food
- May improve speech
- Prevent a sagging face by providing support for lips and cheeks
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.
- A Conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to healed under the denture
- An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (root of the mouth).
- A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tounge.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or combination thereof. Denture can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated tooth and a complete denture can be attached to allow for more secure fit of the appliance.
Denture over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.
Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture can easily be taken out of the mouth for cleaning. Partial Dentures usually have replacement teeth fixed to plastic base that matches the color of your gums. The plastic base may cover a metal framework. Partial dentures often have some form of clasp that attaches to your natural teeth.
The dentist may also recommend crowns on your natural tooth. Crowns may improve the way a removable partial denture fits to your mouth.
It take time to getting used to your removable partial denture, it may feel odd or tight for the first few weeks. But in time of practice to put in and take out, you should get used to it. Never force it into place by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.
Removable partial dentures should not be worn 24 hours a day. The dentist may tell you to take out the partial denture at the bedtime and put it back in when you wake up. Usually your dentist will make follow-up appointments to look for pressure points or sore spots then adjust your denture so it fits comfortably.
Once missing teeth are replaced, eating should be much more pleasant experience. Since missing teeth can make it difficult to speak clearly, wearing a removable partial denture can help with that too.