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Prosthodontics (crowns, bridges and dentures)

Prosthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and the surrounding oral structures. Prosthodontic treatments aim to improve the function, aesthetics, and overall oral health of patients.

Here are some common prosthodontic treatments:

  • Dental Crowns: Crowns are custom-made caps that cover and protect damaged or decayed teeth. They restore the tooth’s shape, size, strength, and appearance.
  • Dental Bridges: Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth called pontics, which are anchored to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants.
  • Dentures: Dentures are removable appliances used to replace multiple missing teeth. They can be complete dentures, which replace all teeth, or partial dentures, which replace a few missing teeth while preserving the remaining natural teeth.
  • Dental Implants: Implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. They provide a strong foundation for dental crowns, bridges, or dentures, offering a more permanent and stable solution for tooth replacement.
  • Veneers: Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. They can improve the appearance of teeth by correcting discoloration, chips, cracks, or minor misalignments.
  • Full Mouth Reconstruction: This comprehensive treatment plan is designed to restore the function, aesthetics, and health of an entire mouth that has suffered from extensive damage, decay, or tooth loss. It may involve a combination of crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, and other dental procedures.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder Treatment: Prosthodontists can diagnose and treat TMJ disorders, which can cause jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty in jaw movement. Treatment may involve the use of splints, orthotics, or other appliances to alleviate symptoms and improve jaw function.
  • Maxillofacial Prosthetics: This branch of prosthodontics focuses on the rehabilitation of patients who have undergone surgeries or experienced trauma affecting the head, neck, or face. Maxillofacial prosthetics involve the creation of custom prostheses to restore missing or damaged facial structures, such as artificial eyes, ears, or facial prosthetics.
  • Smile Makeovers: Prosthodontists can create comprehensive treatment plans to enhance the appearance of a patient’s smile. This may involve a combination of cosmetic procedures such as veneers, crowns, teeth whitening, and orthodontics to achieve the desired aesthetic results.
  • Sleep Apnea Treatment: Prosthodontists can provide oral appliances to help manage sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These appliances help reposition the jaw and keep the airway open, improving breathing and reducing symptoms.
  • Rehabilitation of Traumatic Injuries: Prosthodontists can reconstruct and restore teeth and oral structures that have been damaged due to trauma, accidents, or sports injuries. This may involve a combination of restorative treatments, such as crowns, bridges, and dental implants.

It’s important to consult with a prosthodontist to determine the most suitable treatment options based on your specific dental needs and goals.

Frequently asked questions

01. What is the role of a prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and oral structures. They have advanced training and expertise in prosthodontic treatments, including dental crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, and other restorative procedures.
02. How long do dental crowns last?
The lifespan of dental crowns can vary depending on several factors, such as oral hygiene practices, biting forces, and maintenance. On average, dental crowns can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years or longer with proper care.
03. Are dental implants a permanent solution for missing teeth?
Dental implants are designed to be a long-lasting and durable solution for missing teeth. With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. However, the lifespan can be influenced by factors such as oral hygiene, lifestyle habits, and overall oral health.
04. How do dentures stay in place?
Dentures are typically held in place by suction and the surrounding oral tissues. However, for additional stability, dentures can be secured using dental adhesives or with the help of dental implants through implant-supported dentures.
05. Can anyone get dental implants?
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. Adequate bone quantity and quality are essential for successful implant placement. If a patient has insufficient bone, bone grafting procedures may be required to build up the implant site. A thorough evaluation by a prosthodontist or implant specialist is necessary to determine candidacy for dental implants.
06. How long does it take to get dental implants?
The timeline for getting dental implants can vary depending on individual circumstances. It typically involves several stages, including the initial evaluation, implant placement surgery, healing period (osseointegration), and the placement of the final restoration. The entire process can take several months, with some cases requiring additional time for bone grafting or other preparatory procedures.
07. Do dental bridges require special care?
Dental bridges require regular oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antimicrobial mouthwash. It's important to clean around the bridge and underneath it using special floss threaders or interdental brushes. Regular dental check-ups are also necessary to ensure the bridge remains in good condition.
08. Are prosthodontic treatments covered by insurance?
Many dental insurance plans provide coverage for prosthodontic treatments, but the extent of coverage can vary. It's advisable to check with your insurance provider to understand the specific coverage details for different prosthodontic procedures.
09. Are prosthodontic treatments painful?
Prosthodontic treatments are typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring that patients are comfortable and experience minimal to no pain during the procedure. After the treatment, there may be some temporary discomfort or sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
10. How do I maintain my prosthodontic restorations?
To maintain prosthodontic restorations, it's important to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with antimicrobial mouthwash. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are essential to monitor the condition of the restorations and ensure their longevity.
11. Can prosthodontic treatments improve my appearance?
Yes, prosthodontic treatments can significantly improve the appearance of your smile. Procedures such as dental crowns, veneers, and implants can enhance the shape, color, and alignment of your teeth, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

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