Our body experiences several changes as we become old. Our skin may develop wrinkles, limbs may become stiff, joints may pain, and we may lose strength. Many of our body parts do not function as effectively as they did when we were young. The same thing applies to our teeth. With increasing age, teeth may become weaker. The enamel of teeth becomes thinner, and the protective coating decreases. It may lead to cracks or chips in the teeth, and one may lose one or multiple teeth.
Apart from old age, several other reasons cause tooth loss. The health of your teeth is vulnerable even at a younger age if you don't engage in proper care. For example, if a person suffers from any structural defects, then the oral health of that person is in jeopardy. There are also cases where improper care of teeth and lack of dental hygiene may lead to conditions like cavities, bleeding gums, and tartar. Hence, if external treatment doesn't work, permanent teeth can be lost.
If someone has tooth loss, the person's permanent teeth can't regenerate. As a result, missing teeth may put a person's oral health at further risk and affect the ability to chew, eat and speak. To solve this problem, dentists use artificial apparatus and instruments to replace missing teeth. Such instruments are known as dental prostheses. These devices revive the look and functioning of the natural tooth.
Dental Prosthesis And Prosthodontics
Dental prostheses are the prosthesis used inside the mouth to revive oral conditions like missing teeth or some part of them. They can also restore the missing formation of the jaw and the palate. They are devices made artificially to resemble the looks and functioning of lost or damaged teeth. Such devices include dentures, crowns, bridges, dental implants, inlays, etc. A person may get a dental prosthesis to restore chewing of food, support their speech, and enhance appearance. There are several ways to hold dental prostheses in place, such as implants, suction, or attachment to adjacent teeth. Similar to prostheses for other body parts, dental prostheses can be permanent or removable. The permanently fixed prostheses attach to the dental implants through screws or adhesives. On the other hand, the removable prostheses hold in place by suction or by utilizing the nearby tissue of the gums.
The specialty that focuses on dental prostheses is known as Prosthodontics. According to the American Dental Association, Prosthodontics is "the dental specialty on 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 or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes."
It concerns the replacement and restoration of missing and damaged teeth. The highly-trained specialists in the field of dental prostheses are known as Prosthodontics. Also called the 'architects of the smile,' they have expertise in all the elements that result in a natural-looking and functional smile. They also deal with cosmetic treatments for lips, gums, and other facial features and dental procedures. Anyone who requires complex dental or oral corrective procedures should consult a prosthodontist before advancing toward any treatment.
Types Of Dental Prosthetics
There might be several reasons for missing teeth. But modern dentistry can make up for it through dental prosthetics and procedures. Choosing a specific prosthetic for a person doesn't mainly depend on the cost, but the requirement according to their condition and morphological reasons. The dentist may suggest a prosthesis by observing the condition of teeth, jaw, and gums. These are the following types of procedures mainly used.:
A dental crown is a cap that resembles the shape and color of natural teeth. It sits on the tooth and fits over the top of it. Sometimes, a natural tooth may not be able to support a resin dental crown because of decay. In such cases, the patient gets an implant-supported crown. Therefore, extracting the natural tooth before installing the crown is essential. The dentist may place an implant screw in the jaw after the extraction. Then he will attach an abutment to it. This abutment comes out of the gum line, and the gum tissue joins it. Following the implant process, the dentist places a temporary dental cap that attaches to the abutment. Once the implant site heals completely and the bone and implant fuse together, the dentist places a permanent dental crown. This crown resembles natural teeth and functions similarly. Installing dental crowns can restore a single lost tooth or multiple teeth not adjacent to each other.
A dental crown sits on a decayed or damaged tooth. Whereas a dental bridge consists of two dental crowns with teeth in between. Dental bridges are an effective solution in places where adjacent teeth need restoration. It can revive adjacent teeth that are decayed, damaged, or missing together. When used together in coordination, dental bridges and dental implants are known as implant-supported bridges. Such apparatus supports the dental prosthesis when natural teeth can not. An implant-supported bridge consists of dental implants as support for fake teeth or caps for your teeth. The dentist installs a dental bridge similar to a dental crown. The only difference is that it involves placing two dental implants.
The artificial teeth used to restore the complete lower or upper teeth are known as dentures. The use of dentures is where multiple natural teeth decay and damage result in teeth loss. Though there are removable dental prostheses available, fixed dentures provide permanent stabilization. These fixed dentures use dental implants to stay in place. The dentist may install four implants in each arch to hold the fixed dentures in place. That is why it is also known as fixed 'all-on-four implants. The process of installing implant-supported dentures requires removing any of the damaged teeth and placing at least four dental implants. For teeth restoration, one can choose dental crowns, dentures, fixed dental bridges, and dental implants. However, the best suitable solution depends on your oral condition and requirement. Therefore, one must consult a prosthodontist before finalizing the teeth replacement procedure.
Advantages Of Dental Prosthesis
The decision to get dental prostheses might be a tough one to make. You might be anxious about the process. Another reason getting dental prosthetics might seem uncomfortable is asking yourself, 'Is it worth it?' The following are the benefits of getting a dental prosthesis:
1. They function like natural teeth
Dental implants restore full bite force. As a result, you can chew your food similarly to how you do with natural teeth. Moreover, no one but your dentist can differentiate between your natural tooth and implant tooth with a ceramic dental cap. Dental prostheses are easy to clean, and you can brush and floss them normally.
2. They're long-lasting
You can wear dental prostheses for several years of your life. Good quality dentures can function well for 5-8 years. Dental bridges last for about ten years, and implants can last forever. The dental implants, made from Titanium, combine with the jawbone, and the body accepts it. They are non-toxic and are an excellent option for tooth replacement.
3. They stop bone loss
When there is a missing tooth in the jaw bone, it starts deteriorating due to space. In addition, it results in the loss of bone because of no stimulation and pressure. If you get dentures, the loss of bones stops as they completely replace the natural tooth and its functioning. But dentures tend to become loose with time. Hence they may quicken the process of bone loss as they become loose and rub against the seam. The best method to prevent bone loss is getting dental implants that replace the root and tooth and provide stimulation.
4. They ensure the stability of adjacent teeth
A missing tooth causes a gap. And adjacent teeth shift towards this gap to fill it and make it crooked. Not only does it affect your bite, but also your appearance and ability to chew food. Hence, not getting tooth replacement at an early stage may cause problems later on. Getting a dental prosthesis later may be even more challenging if your teeth protrude.
5. They keep gum diseases away
The gap because of tooth loss becomes a spot for developing the colonies of food pieces and bacteria. And improper care may lead to gum diseases, cavities, and gingivitis.
6. They prevent premature aging
Without any tooth replacement procedure, the face starts looking old. Due to the bone loss, the chin and the tip of the nose start coming closer, resulting in wrinkles. With the lines around the mouth and thinning of lips, a person begins to look older than their actual age.
Making Of Dental Prostheses
The process of creation of oral prosthesis for teeth restoration happens in the following steps:
First, you will undergo a detailed examination of your mouth by a prosthodontist. At this stage, he will tell you about the teeth restoration options you can choose. Depending on your oral health and the number of teeth you're missing, the dentist may suggest implants, bridges, or partial dentures.
After a thorough oral examination, the second step would be imaging and scanning your mouth. The dentist may use X-Rays and advanced 3D scanners to take mouth images. You will also have to provide dental impressions to the dental assistants. These impressions help in the creation of molds.
Design And Creation Of Prostheses
The molds and images of your mouth will go to a dental laboratory. Next, the creation of prostheses such as implants, crowns, veneers, and more happens in the laboratory. Next, the dental technician will make custom-built prostheses according to your oral structure and requirement. The prostheses-creation process takes around two to three weeks. Finally, the dental laboratory creates a prosthesis that fits the surrounding teeth perfectly and matches them.
Placement and adjustment
Once your dental prostheses get ready, you will go for the fitting. The dentists and their team will ensure that your prostheses fit nicely and function well. If it needs any minor modifications, the dentist will make them at that time. Then, the prostheses will be placed in your mouth permanently. The dental assistants will also guide you through cleaning and caring for your dental prostheses.
Installing Dental Prostheses and Aftercare
The first step towards installing dental prosthetics is a thorough examination of the mouth by your dentist. Depending on your oral health and condition, the dentist will suggest the best possible solution for your case. Before the restoration process starts, the dentist cleans the mouth and removes all the traces of damage and decaying teeth. Reshaping of the remaining tooth structures follows it. You will then have to provide the impressions of your mouth. These impressions form a guideline for making models of dental prostheses. For bridges and acrylic crowns, the dentist shapes the remaining teeth into pegs to provide support. Following the impressions and preparation, the dentist will forward the requirements to a laboratory where the dental technicians will prepare your prostheses.
Until you get your prostheses, the dentist will install a temporary crown and bridge at the site. These substitutes stay on the site until your permanent restorations get ready. The dentist and their assistants guide and educate about keeping the temporary crown and bridge in place. They also tell you to avoid chewy food, gums, and other hard food items. The dentists generally encourage the patients to chew food from another side of the mouth. If the substitutes loosen or come out, you must call the dentist. They will re-cement it in place.
When you get your prostheses, there might be some swelling in the gums. You may also feel discomfort post-surgery. At this stage, the dentist recommends oral rinses or medication to lessen the discomfort. In addition, the patients may experience sensitivity to cold drinks and food items. But it will only be for a few weeks after placing the crown and bridge. Patients should maintain proper dental hygiene while wearing temporary as well as permanent crowns and bridges.
It may take several weeks to adjust to dental prostheses, especially dentures. In addition, if one has removable apparatus, taking it out and wearing it back may require practice.
Speaking might be a little problematic at first. But with time, it becomes easy. The patient may also experience some discomfort while eating. Hence, doctors suggest starting with eating soft food in small pieces. Avoiding sticky and chewy food is essential. Eating food with bones and hot food requires special care as prostheses make the mouth less sensitive to hot food items. Patients may also experience a reduced sense of taste because teeth play an essential role in sensing the taste. Patients may also have much sweet, spicy, or salty food to enhance the flavors and relish the food. An important thing to remember is to include several food items in your diet to get proper nutrition. Adjusting the number of herbs and spices can cover the bland taste of the food you might eat.
Cleaning your permanent prostheses as you clean your natural teeth is crucial. Floss threads and specialty brushes can remove food particles and plaque from around the bridges and crowns. If you wear partial dentures, removing them at least once a day is essential. You can clean them with a denture cleaner and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Removing dentures at night will let the soft gum tissue in your mouth relax and recover from the pressure. Soaking the dentures in the solution overnight will preserve them dentures and prevent them from drying out. It is necessary to clean your gums daily to maintain them healthily. It would help if you also stimulated them, so there is blood circulation.
The patient should see the dentist if there is any discomfort or irritation due to prostheses. It is also advisable to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a dental examination. If a patient gets several teeth extracted, he should get the prostheses within the first six months after getting implants. Since our body changes with time, it is advisable to reline the dentures after every ten years.
The Role Of The Health Care Team
The healthcare team plays an essential role in ensuring that a patient gets an incredible smile and that teeth loss doesn't hold him back from living life to the fullest. First, dentists diagnose and understand a patient's needs. They also determine and suggest the best corrective procedure. Next, the dentist prepares the patient's mouth for installing dental prostheses. Most of the time, it requires expertise and extraordinary skills to remove some parts of the teeth to make enough space for the prosthesis to sit. At the same time, it also requires leaving enough space in the tooth to support the restoration. Following the process, the dental technician prepares the prostheses that are compatible with the tooth and fit according to the structure of the patient's mouth. This dental technician is a scientist and an artist who can create natural-looking and functioning teeth that complement the patient's face. The dental assistant's role is to prepare the patient and their teeth for the dentist. First, they take the impressions of the patient's teeth and gums and prepare a model. This model helps the dentist in diagnosing the patient's condition. It also enables the dental technician to make dental prostheses that adjust in the patient's mouth comfortably.
The prosthodontists are known as the oral architects of the team. They develop a complete treatment plan for the patient. Prosthodontists combine their treatment with dentists and provide more effective care to patients. They and other specialists diagnose the problem and plan treatment options such as dentures, implants, bridges, fillings, and other cosmetic procedures. Prosthodontists play a vital role in helping people retain their teeth and maintain attractive looks. The main difference between a dentist and a prosthodontist is that a dentist focuses on repairing teeth and ensuring good oral health. Prosthodontists deal with the replacement of teeth and restoring dental health. A prosthodontist may perform the following types of procedures:.
1. Restoring Damaged Teeth
Conditions such as cavities, trauma, or teeth grinding may damage teeth. It may require restoration of teeth to stop further degradation of oral health. It is also essential to performing vital tasks like eating and speaking. Considering the patient's situation, a prosthodontist may provide minor to major procedures. Some examples are crowns, fillings, dentures, etc.
2. Replacing Lost Teeth
Teeth loss may result in a lot of problems. Tooth replacement options avoid further inconvenience and maintain good oral conditions. There are several teeth restoration options, such as removable dentures, fixed bridges, implants, etc. The prosthodontists and dental technicians work together to create customized prostheses that look good and are comfortable.
3. Installing Dental Implants
Oral implants are the options for traditional tooth replacement procedures. It offers many benefits to patients who lose one or multiple teeth. However, with this advancing biotechnology, one can't tell the difference between natural teeth and implants.
4. Enhancing The Aesthetics
Cosmetic Procedures and prosthodontics enhance the appearance of a person willing to do so. Whether a simple procedure or a complex one, the artificial parts must combine perfectly and look natural in the surrounding environment. People approach prosthodontics for cosmetic dentistry in NJ, such as teeth whitening and bonding, reshaping teeth, color matching, and the flawless installation of permanent prostheses like crowns and bridges.
5. Treating Complex Cases
A prosthodontist is an expert with immense knowledge about the connection between the jaw and the teeth. In addition, they know about restoring bite force and its significance for a healthy life. Prosthodontists work with other dentists and specialists to treat people with complex oral conditions like TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders.)
Best Prosthodontists In New Jersey
A dental prosthesis that is well-made should feel comfortable. With proper care and cleaning, a prosthesis can last for comparatively longer. Generally, anyone with sufficient bone density in the jaw can go for dental prostheses. Bone density is necessary to support the joint between the jawbone and the abutment. If the jawbone is weak, it can't retain the connection, and the implant will not work. Hence, when you choose to get implants, it is essential that your dentist examines your oral condition and makes sure that your jaw can support the implant. If dental implants work for you, you should talk to your dentist. Ask about the procedure and how it can help you maintain your dental health. Dental implants have a high success rate. A well-experienced prosthodontist will make the implant procedure easier for you.
At Jackson Dental, we ensure that you have superior oral health. We have expertise in cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and removable prostheses. We don't leave a single stone unturned for your impeccable smile. Getting implants could be a little daunting, and there might be confusion regarding the procedure, aftercare, and cost. When you consult with us, we offer the best solutions for your problems after thoroughly examining your condition. From the first appointment to the installation of the prosthesis and aftercare, we walk you through everything. Get the best dental solutions at Jackson Dental if you plan to install dentures or permanent implants for teeth restoration.
Notwithstanding the advancements in dental care, several people suffer from teeth loss. Tooth decay, trauma, or periodontal disease are some of the main reasons leading to missing teeth. No matter what the reason is, nothing should stop you from living your life normally again. Earlier, only traditional teeth replacement options, such as dentures, were available. But now, with advancements in biotechnology, one can opt for permanent implants. Getting dental prostheses to restore your missing teeth revives biting force and looks as natural as your teeth. You must consult your prosthodontist and get information about your options. Your dentist and their team will guide you at every step, and they will clarify all your confusion. Once you get your dental prostheses, it will require aftercare. Cleaning your mouth, brushing your teeth, and flossing keeps your mouth healthy and free of bacterial colonies. If you go for removable dentures, you must take them out daily and clean them with a specific solution. With proper care and dental visits, your dental prostheses will go a long way with you.