Like what we have been saying, dental terminology is quite simple, Prosto comes from prosthesis; which means replacement, and we can compound it, but let’s focus on the “dontics”. This is the dental aspect of it; hence prosthodontics generally means replacement teeth.
This branch of dentistry deals with the replacement of unfortunately lost teeth. Certainly, as primary objective as a Dentist, we prefer preventing this from happening. Yet reality exists, and here we need to deal with this grave dental problem. Losing one or more teeth is a grave dental problem. Imagine we are design to have 32 teeth as an adult, 16 upper and 16 lowers. Designed in such a magnificent way that we can adequately chew and feed ourselves, designed to serve you a life time and we disturb this equilibrium, Travesty is inevitable. Imagine your grandparents using dentures; as they are called, (there other and better devices) from when they were fifty. Want to continue?
There are several ways to replace missing teeth. But first let’s look at the damage that has been done. With missing teeth; think of the front teeth, what great, not very welcoming smile does one have? Its opportunity lost, doors close and worse of all, not been able to chew properly, not digesting the food you paid so much for, and the concerns goes on. Replacing your missing teeth is VITAL for adequate healthy long living. Just imagine one loosing 20% of your teeth, that’s only having 25 and loosing possible having them for 20% of your lifetime. Imagine the economic loss caused by losing your self esteem, your confidence and most of all, your association with your peers.
The best way of replacing your teeth boils down to doing it fixed as compared to removable, and there is a tremendous difference.
Fixed prosthesis is best. There are several ways of doing this. With implants being the best, fixed bridges supported by your natural teeth follows. Consideration and treatment plans varies from patient to patients but a general rule of thumb depends invariable by the patients desire to have comprehensive dental care or “just a fix it” mentality or attitude. We provide for the best solution, we guide you in the right long lasting direction. Your decision will ultimately determine what level of treatment you will receive. Remember that our logo “Prevention our goal”, dictates our actions.
Bridges are affordable and acceptably long lasting but not the best, especially if supported by your natural teeth. Remember loading these teeth with more than acceptable pressure will diminish there effectiveness, so how long will they last? Possible they’ll lose about 20% of their lifetime or more, dependent on the level of care and your meticulous maintainance and periodic visits to the dentist (normally at least every six months or earlier.) Prevention is best and less costly. Bridges are not really conservative as the adjacent teeth to the missing one/ones has to be ground down to allow for the placement of a total crown and with an extension to the other adjacent teeth that will support the other side of the bridge. Then if and whenever a problem arises with the supporting teeth, the likelihood of losing the bridge, if not attended to early, is likely to happen. Proper care should always be done to the teeth especially the ones supporting a bridge. Furthermore, the weight bearing capacity of the supporting teeth is reduced or limited if there is periodontal disease.
Removable apparatuses are cheapest but definitely not the best nor adequate. There are lots of factors involved with removables. Firstly let’s state, there are generally two materials from which these removables are made from; acrylic and Chrome-cobalt. There is a new type called Valplast, a flexible type material. Acrylic is a type of plastic and Chrome-cobalt is a hard stainless steel looking material. Of the two, Chrome –cobalt is better. Removable partials or dentures has the inherent problem that they have to be remove after every meal so as to have them cleaned. This is a bothersome activity as sometimes it’s embarrassing especially when family member or just acquaintances are around. The mere effort on a daily basis, for the rest of your life, removing this apparatus at least three times daily for hygienic purposes, let alone the aspect of losing them or breaking them, makes them undesirable and very inconvenient. Another common problem is the aspect of the irritation that is causes to the gums. This irritation can be mild or severe leading at time, in extreme cases, to the transformation of gum tissues to cancerous lesion. Other consideration includes the eventual cost effectivity of these apparatus. They are not long term procedures, they can cause erosion to the supporting teeth, and they are only fairly aesthetic. One must certainly think carefully before opting for a removable denture when they are comparably more efficient ways in replacing missing teeth. Implants and bridges are the best and better options in respective other.