Dental prosthetics can improve your smile by repairing broken or decaying teeth. This process will make it easier to eat and speak while also eliminating the foul odor caused by untreated teeth.
Dental implants are permanent solutions to missing teeth. However, they can only be installed if your jawbone has sufficient density.
Dental bridges fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth, allowing you to smile with confidence. They are a popular choice because they’re less expensive than implants and can be completed in just two sessions. The first appointment will see the anchor teeth (also known as abutment teeth) being altered to fit the crowns that will hold the bridge in place. A temporary bridge will then be inserted until your permanent one is ready within a few weeks.
Traditional bridges use either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics and include an artificial tooth, called a pontic, in the middle. There are other types of bridges, including Maryland bonded bridges which consist of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework and cantilever bridges used when there are natural teeth on only one side.
Dental bridges are permanent dental prosthetics, meaning they cannot be removed throughout the day or overnight, and therefore you will need to be committed to excellent oral hygiene to maintain their integrity. However, they are also durable and should last for five to 15 years. During this time, you will need to have the bridge re-cemented or adjusted occasionally. Because they are attached to the abutment teeth, they pass chewing forces through the teeth and not into the gums, helping your actual teeth perform the mastication process as normal.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, dental crowns can restore your smile. These prosthetics are designed to look like your natural teeth so that no one will know you’ve had work done.
There are different types of crowns, depending on the type of procedure that you’re having done. Some crowns are made of ceramic or zirconia, which are both known for their realism and strength. Other crowns are made of PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate acrylic), or All-resin, which are cheaper but don’t last as long.
When you get a crown, the first thing that happens is that your dentist will take impressions of your teeth. This will involve biting down into an upper and lower dental tray that contains a special putty that’s chemically activated to harden when you bite down on it. The dental lab that will make your crown will then use these impressions to create a custom fit.
The other option for filling in a gap is to have an implant fitted. An implant is a titanium alloy screw that’s surgically embedded into your jawbone. This is a more involved process than just having a crown placed on top of an existing tooth, because the implant needs to fuse to your bone, which can sometimes take up to 2 months. Once it has, you can have a bridge or a denture attached to the implant fixture.
The implant process involves placing a titanium fixture, which dentists shape into the space of a missing tooth. They then close the gum tissue around it to secure the implant in place. This requires some time to ensure the implants fully fuse to the jawbone, a process called osseointegration. The implant also stimulates bone growth, which can prevent future bone loss.
There are many types of dental prosthetics that can replace missing teeth. Some prosthetics can be removed for cleaning every evening, while others are fixed and can only be removed by a professional. Partial dentures can address several missing teeth, while full dentures provide complete replacement for both the upper and lower dental arch. A complete plate is another solution for a full arch of teeth, and it consists of a nylon or plastic base with replacement teeth attached to it. They are held in place by suction or a special denture-fixing ointment.
The material used for a dental prosthetic can have a major impact on the longevity and success of the restorations. It should be biocompatible, cleanable, potentially resistant to stains, and have a stable porosity. It should also be durable, able to resist stress, and maintain its shape. If the material fails to meet these criteria, it will not be able to perform its intended function.
Porcelain veneers are a thin shell-like dental prosthetic that can improve the size, shape or shade of your teeth. They are custom-made to sit over the front or face of each tooth, replicating its natural structure and color. Veneers are a great choice for fixing minor cosmetic issues such as chipped or stained teeth.
To prepare for veneers, your dentist will take an impression of your bite — a process that involves biting down into upper and lower dental trays filled with a liquid-like putty that hardens upon contact with your teeth. The resulting impressions will provide a guide for creating your veneers.
You can choose between porcelain and composite resin veneers. Both types are durable and can last several years. However, the resin option isn’t stain-resistant, so it will darken over time.
Because they are bonded to the front of your tooth, veneers are less invasive than crowns and bridges. However, they are not as sturdy and are more likely to break if you chew or grind your teeth. It’s important to avoid using your teeth to open packages or eat hard foods with your veneers and to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. With proper care, you can expect your dental veneers to last for 10 to 15 years before needing replacement. You can also opt for a dental implant to replace a missing tooth and prevent bone loss.