What is protesthic dentistry?
Teeth can be missing because of many reasons, such as due to dental decay, destruction of connective tissue or trauma. Congenitally missing teeth are not very rare, either. Prosthetic dentistry means the replacement of missing teeth, soft tissues or all teeth through a variety of artificial methods. Prosthetic dentistry also comprises the replacement of damaged teeth with crowns, i.e. replacing the visible part of the tooth.
What kind of protesthic solution are there?
There are both fixed and removable dental prostheses. Fixed prosthetic solutions include crowns and bridges that are cemented to the mouth. Removable prostheses include full and partial dentures.
What is fixed with crowns?
A badly damaged tooth can be fixed by crowning. If there is extensive decay in a tooth and it has been filled several times or if the tooth has darkened, for example as a result of root canal therapy, crowning is a good treatment alternative. Crowning both strengthens the tooth and improves its appearance. The tooth that is to be crowned is ground into a small support pillar on which the crown will be built. A dental technician produces an individual crown according to the patient's occlusion based on casts made by a dentist, and it will be cemented to the tooth pillar. The crown can be made of gold, various metal alloys or ceramics, for instance. If the tooth is missing altogether and replaced with an implant, the crown is fixed onto the implant.
What can be replased with a bridge and partial denture?
One or several missing teeth can be replaced with a bridge, partial denture or implant. A bridge is fixed onto the teeth next to the missing tooth, and they will be crowned. Also, a gap resulting from several teeth missing can be covered using a bridge. In the same way as crowns, also bridges can be made from a variety of materials.
Unlike a bridge, a partial denture is a removable prosthetic solution. A partial denture can be, for example, a plate made of acrylic plastic or metal to which artificial teeth are fixed. When the partial denture is installed into the mouth, the gaps caused by missing teeth are covered by the teeth in the denture.
What if all the teeth are missing?
If all teeth are missing, a complete denture is used as the prosthetic solution. A complete denture is a removable device that replaces all the teeth. A complete denture can also be bonded in the mouth using a few implants. In these cases, it can still be removed for cleaning by oneself.
How long do the dental prostheses last?
Getting used to dental prostheses can take some time at first. In addition, there is continuous adaptation of tissues going on in the mouth, which can result in decreased fit of the prosthesis. The fit of the prosthesis is checked with regular visits to the dentist, and the prosthesis can be adjusted if necessary. Good oral hygiene always prolongs the durability of dental prostheses. Properly cleaned, a dental prosthesis can last a lifetime.