What is prosthetic dental treatment?
Prosthetic dental treatment is the branch of dentistry that includes many disciplines such as removable and fixed prostheses (dentures), implantology and prosthetics of the jaw and face. The prime aim of prosthodontics is to replace the tissues lost in the mouth. Prosthetics that mimic natural teeth, gingiva (gums) and bone are designed and manufactured by the prosthodontist and dental technician in accordance with the patient’s oral structure and requirements.
It is very important that the prosthesis (denture) that is produced is suitable for the patient’s neuromuscular structure and occlusion.
What types of prosthesis are available?
In the case of a loss of all teeth in the mouth or in the presence of only a small number of remaining teeth, removable dental prosthetics can be used to replace the soft tissue and teeth. Removable dentures are defined as not being fixed in place and can be easily removed by the patient.
Removable Partial Denture
Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-coloured plastic base. A partial denture may have a metal framework and clasps that connect securely to your teeth, or they can have other connectors that are more natural looking.
Total Prosthesis/Complete Denture
A complete denture is a removable prosthesis which can be used when all teeth within a jaw have been lost and need to be replaced with the help of dental prosthetics. In contrast to a partial denture, a complete denture is constructed when there are no more teeth left in the mouth – hence it is an exclusively tissue-supported prosthesis which sits directly on the gingiva (gums) with the support of only the toothless soft tissue arch.
Fixed dentures are the prosthetic dental treatments that can be applied in the presence of natural teeth which can bear the burden of lost teeth. In this treatment, the teeth in front and behind the toothless cavity are minimized (filed down) and crowned using a bridge prostheses which has been produced in a dental laboratory. In fixed prosthetic restorations, the materials used can vary according to the purpose of the treatment and the patient’s oral health. While zirconium and full ceramic crowns are recommended for the solution of aesthetic problems, metal-supported porcelain crowns are recommended in patients with para-functional habits such as bruxism (teeth grinding) and insufficient occlusal distance in the posterior regions. Fixed dental prosthetics are applied in the form of gluing or cementing them into place to ensure they remain permanently fixed.
Dental crowns are the preferred solution for material loss and the aesthetic problems of individual teeth.
A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining an artificial tooth definitively to adjacently placed natural teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Traditional dental bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth by filing down the natural teeth, with a pontic (the artificial tooth that replaces the missing natural tooth) located in between.
Laminate Veneers & Full Veneer Crowns
In patients with minimal/mild tooth deficiencies or discolouration, laminate veneers can be used to improve the overall aesthetic appearance of the teeth. This process involves the application of a thin layer of prosthetic treatment with only a small amount of preparation on just the anterior (front/exterior) tooth surface, within the limits of the enamel.
A full veneer crown, by comparison, is a full restoration that covers the tooth surfaces on all sides.
Inlay & Onlay Restorations
In certain circumstances where a tooth has minimal to moderate damage or decay and a full crown is not required, inlay and onlay restorations can be an effective restorative treatment method. Inlays can repair damage that does not extend beyond the cusps of the tooth.
An onlay will repair this surface plus one or more of the tooth cusps so it can be quite large and is sometimes called a three-quarter crown, as it will cover up a substantial amount of your tooth, but some of its natural structure will still be visible.
These are prosthetic restorations in which fixed or removable prosthesis types are placed according to the number of implants applied in patients with little to no natural teeth remaining.