Dental Prosthetics

Prosthodontics

If you have missing or damaged teeth, problems with your jaw, or other issues with your mouth, it can affect your health and well-being. Beyond the physical pain and discomfort you may feel, there are also negative social, emotional, and psychological effects. To remedy these types of problems, your dentist may recommend dental prosthodontics. This type of treatment can involve replacing your damaged teeth with a dental implant or it may involve rebuilding other facial structures. The goal is to restore your oral health and to improve the appearance of your smile. 


What are dental prosthodontics?

Dental prosthodontics are artificial replacements for natural teeth and other parts of the mouth, including the gums. Sometimes, they are also referred to as dental prosthetics. There are two commonly used types of prosthodontics, those that are removable and fixed devices. 


Removable prosthodontics

Dental prosthetics are very often removable devices that either replace missing teeth, or help to repair the bite. Examples of common removable prosthodontics include dentures, mouthguards, and occlusal splints.

  • Dentures - Used to replace all of your teeth, some of your teeth, or even a single tooth. They generally fit over the gums, and in the case of partials and bridges, may also connect to your remaining teeth. Over time, your jaw may change, meaning you'll need to be fitted for new dentures.
  • Occlusal Splints - Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) can sometimes be treated using an occlusal splint (often referred to as a nightguard). This type of removable dental prosthetic usually lasts from three to five years. However, stress and heavy tooth grinding and clenching might mean your mouthguard needs to be replaced more frequently.
  • Mouthguards - Used to protect your teeth from trauma during sport.

What are fixed prosthodontics?

As the name implies, fixed prosthodontics are replacements for damaged teeth that are of a fixed nature. Much like your original teeth, you must maintain your oral health by brushing, rinsing, and having regular dental check-ups. 

  • Crowns - A dental crown is essentially a cap that is placed over a broken or otherwise damaged tooth. They are typically bonded to the original tooth using a dental cement that keeps the crown in place. They're often used when large cavities affect the health of the tooth.
  • Bridges - A dental bridge is used to replace missing teeth by joining an artificial tooth to the adjacent teeth or previously installed dental implants. These types of dental prosthetics can be used to replace one tooth or several teeth. 
  • Dental Implants - These types of dental prosthetics require a series of surgeries and follow-up appointments. They are attached directly to the jawbone and the artificial tooth, or teeth, is then connected to a metal post. 

Make an appointment

At National Dental Care, we're committed to providing all of our patients with the highest level of dental care. Our friendly, highly-trained, professional staff will do everything we can to make your visit as comfortable and pleasant as possible. So, don't delay, contact us to schedule your appointment today to learn more about your options including general dentistry and prosthodontic treatment.

FAQ

Your National Dental Care dentist will determine whether prosthodontic treatment is the best choice for you. Their evaluation will focus on your overall oral health and function to determine the level of care that's necessary to overcome your issues. If your oral health is severely compromised, your dentist may recommend rehabilitation that includes prosthodontic treatment to improve your facial appearance as well as the function of your jaw and teeth. In complex cases, you may be referred to a specialist.
General dentists are highly trained, they focus on routine dental care and procedures such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions. Some dentists do receive extra levels of training for certain procedures, but they do not specialists. On the other hand, a prosthodontist specializes in tooth replacement and restoration. They undergo extensive education and training, ensuring that patients receive the highest quality, most effective treatment for their specific needs.
The amount of time your treatment will take depends upon the complexity of your case and the types of procedures you require. Generally speaking, however, you can expect 2 or more appointments to complete your procedure. The first visit will be a consultation. Your dentist or prosthodontist will examine your teeth, gums, and overall oral health to determine the course of treatment. This initial appointment usually takes somewhere around half an hour to complete. During subsequent visits that last for an hour to an hour and a half, you'll undergo the recommended treatments.
Every case is unique and your prosthodontist will give you information about any post-procedure activities you should undertake or avoid. In many cases, prosthodontic treatment requires sedation or a general anaesthetic. If this is the case for you, you'll need someone else to drive you home as you'll be restricted from driving and operating heavy equipment for at least a day. Your dental professional may also give you specific instructions for post-procedure oral care to prevent infection and other problems.
All surgical and invasive procedures carry certain risks and your overall health will determine your unique risk factors. That's why it's imperative that you're honest and open about your health when you speak to your dentist. Be sure to mention any other illnesses, medications, allergies, and other pertinent information to mitigate the risks. If you've got a recommendation for prosthodontic treatment, and you're concerned, it's a wise idea to obtain a second opinion from an appropriately qualified dental health practitioner.
 

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