A dental prosthesis is an artificial piece that is quite important when we lose a tooth and we must replace it to restore the anatomy of your teeth, not only for its functional part but also in its aesthetic part.
A few years ago, older adult dentures were much more common than they are today.
However, today, some people have accidents or problems that cause the loss of some teeth or complete dentures, cases in which the use of dental prostheses is necessary to recover a beautiful smile!
What is a dental prosthesis?
Dental prosthesis is an artificial substitute for one or more teeth to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the mouth.
The manufacture of dental prostheses is done in a personalized way because each patient is unique and so are their teeth.
Materials in dental prostheses can vary, some of them are porcelain and/or acrylic, resins, plastics with special characteristics and light metals.
The three main objectives of a dental prosthesis are:
- restore dental function, chewing and proper pronunciation
- restore lost aesthetics
- avoid malocclusion, the mobility of the teeth neighboring the missing teeth, the difficulty of hygiene and others.
What types of dental prostheses exist?
Dental prosthetics come in different shapes and types depending on the needs of each patient.
Fixed dental prosthesis
As its name indicates, these permanent dental prostheses are those that cannot be removed by the patient but must be removed by a dentist in case they want to be removed.
It is a dental structure that is fixed to the gum and on it the dental pieces are implanted with screws.
Within fixed dental prostheses there are other categories, which we will describe below:
Fixed prosthesis on implants
It is used to replace a tooth that has no root, for which it is fixed by means of a screw in the implants that have been previously placed in the maxillary bones.
Hybrid prosthesis on implants
This type of prosthesis fulfills a rehabilitating function and can completely replace the upper and lower arches of our mouth. And it can not only replace teeth but also part of the gum.
Tooth-supported fixed bridges or crowns
Known as caps to restore one or more teeth. They can be placed on implants or on a natural tooth that is previously carved.
The person with crowns can chew naturally since the materials used are very resistant, for example, zirconium.
Removable dental prosthesis
This type of flexible dental prosthesis can be removed directly by the patient. It is used when many teeth are missing and they are made on a resin mold and with that same material the missing teeth are made; currently they are comfortable and discreet.
There are two types of removable dentures:
Partial or complete
This type of total dental prosthesis is fixed in the mouth through the gums and teeth using metal hooks.
It is a dental structure that is anchored to the teeth that the patient still retains by means of retainers. They are made in a metal alignment, dental crowns and resin gum.
What is the best dental prosthesis?
Determining which is the best dental prosthesis is a decision that depends on some particular factors of each patient. For example:
- The number of missing teeth
- The condition of the teeth that the patient retains
- The thickness of the jaw bone
The factors described above would be the initial ones for the dentist to approach the decision of which dental prosthesis is best for you, however, factors such as cost and duration of treatment should also be taken into account.
For example, if one or two teeth are missing, a partial denture may be an effective solution, and it’s also a less expensive and faster option to obtain.
But, when the patient only has a few natural teeth and they are in poor condition, dental implant prosthetics would be the best option. However, this option is more expensive and requires a longer treatment time, approximately six months.
Finally, if the jaw bone is very thin, a bone implant should be done first, which is also quite expensive and the treatment is long.
Your dentist will make the most appropriate recommendation according to your needs and you will make the decision depending on your budget and urgency!
Finally, we want to give you some tips to take care of dental prostheses.
Fixed dental prostheses are cleaned, as we normally do with natural teeth, there is no difference and we must do it after each meal. We must use a suitable brush, dental floss and mouthwash from time to time.
Removable dentures must be thoroughly cleaned daily but require special care. Follow the steps and tips below to clean it:
- Remove dentures after eating, rinse and wash with a soft bristle brush at least once a day. You can soak the dentures in water while you wash your mouth, tongue, and cheeks.
- Handle your dentures carefully to avoid damaging the retaining hooks and also to prevent them from falling out and getting damaged.
- At night, remove the dentures and soak them in water and a special disinfectant for dentures, so that they do not lose their shape and remain free of bacteria. Rinse very well when you use it again.
- Massage the gums to improve blood flow.
- If your dentures are loose, you should visit your dentist to prevent irritation, infection, and sores.
Now that you know a little more about the functionalities that a dental prosthesis fulfills, the types of prostheses, which one is better and their care, we hope you have enough information to make your decision and show off a natural smile without complexes of any kind.