The average adult between the age of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth. From increasing your risk of gum disease to causing jaw deterioration, missing teeth can have severe impacts on your dental health if left untreated. Prosthodontics provide a permanent, natural-looking replacement for missing teeth that will bring confidence back to your smile and improve your dental health.
Here’s everything you need to know about prosthodontics and how it can benefit your dental health.
What are prosthodontics and why is your dentist recommending them?
One way to define prosthodontics is as the branch of dentistry that focuses on restoring or replacing teeth.
Prosthodontic care includes:
- Dental implants.
- Dental crowns.
Prosthodontics can help you look younger and feel more comfortable with your smile. It may also improve your overall health and prevent dental health issues.
Dental Implants and Crowns
Dental implants surgically attach to the jaw bone to replace the roots of your teeth. These posts are typically made of titanium, a sturdy and biocompatible material. Titanium allows the bone to grow around the metal without issue, stimulating jaw bone growth.
After the dental implant has healed, dental crowns are fixed to the implant. The ceramic replacement tooth on top of each implant is strong and stable, providing a long-lasting replacement.
Implant-supported dentures provide a more stable fit than removable dentures, and unlike traditional dentures, fixed dentures do not cause the jaw bone to deteriorate.
Implant-supported dentures are fashioned over retentive attachments that have been secured to dental implants. These dentures contour over the jaw bone and gum tissues to provide a more comfortable, stable fit.
A bridge replaces a missing tooth in cases where the teeth surrounding the gap are still there. Bridges are made by using a mold. Porcelain bonds to a metal substructure, which is then placed, adjusted, and fitted over the teeth.
The dentist will remove the outer layer of the surrounding teeth and create a mold. A temporary bridge is then installed until a dental technician finishes the final bridge.
The installation of the final bridge happens during a second appointment. The dentist will check the fit, color, shape, and bite of the bridge and adjust it until you and your dentist are satisfied. After that, the bridge will be cemented into place.
Veneers are thin covers that adhere to stained, chipped, worn, crooked, misaligned, or misshapen teeth. They can change their color, shape, size, or length.
Veneers are created from either porcelain or resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers are strong, durable, natural-looking, and don’t stain easily. Resin composite veneers are typically easier to install, cost less, and are easier to fix if damaged.
To install veneers, a small amount of enamel will be removed from the front and sides of your teeth. The dentist will then make a mold of your teeth and send it to a lab, giving you temporary veneers to wear until your next appointment. Once the final veneers are made, the dentist will fit, adjust, and bond them to your teeth.
Look younger and improve your smile.
The way a person’s teeth look affects how aged they appear to be. As the years pass, teeth grow yellow and discolored, become chipped and cracked, or may even shift and look crooked. It is also possible for the bone and tissue around the missing teeth to deteriorate, which can lead to the bone in that area shrinking, potentially causing facial collapse.
Through prosthodontics, you can prevent these dental problems from happening. You can fully restore your smile, taking years off your appearance. If you have missing teeth, dental implants will give you virtually undetectable, natural-looking replacements that will allow you to have confidence in your smile.
Fixed dentures give support to the cheeks and lips and do not cause the gradual bone loss caused by traditional, removable dentures. This improves your smile and gives you a more youthful appearance.
Feel More Comfortable
Removable prosthodontics are often uncomfortable and inconvenient. They can potentially move when you are chewing, cause sore spots to develop on your gums, and can even affect your speech. They can also be inconvenient as you must remove them for cleaning purposes.
Fixed prosthodontics provide durable, stable replacement teeth that do not need to be removed and will not cause sore spots or deterioration.
Eat Better and Get More Nutrition
Having a gap in your teeth is not only detrimental to your overall health but also increases the pressure on your other teeth. This added pressure increases the wear and deterioration on your other teeth.
Prosthodontics can benefit your general health by improving your ability to eat, allowing you to get more nutrition. With dental implants and implant-supported dentures, you have an improved ability to chew. Traditional dentures can get dislodged while you are eating and limit the foods you can chew. With fixed prosthodontics, you will be able to eat a wide variety of foods, including hard fruits and vegetables.
Prevent deterioration of your dental health.
Prosthodontics can help prevent the ongoing breakdown of your dental health. This includes dental problems caused by crooked or missing teeth, jaw bone shrinkage, and other sources. Missing teeth can cause dental problems to occur in the future.
When a missing tooth is not replaced, the surrounding teeth can shift. This can cause crooked teeth, which increases your risk for gum disease and bite problems. Dental implants and other fixed prosthodontics are durable, effective solutions to prevent the health issues caused by missing teeth.
Avoid Long-Term Costs
Fixed dental implants and dentures help you avoid long-term costs by preventing future dental problems. It also decreases how much you have to spend on long-term maintenance for removable prosthodontics, such as for traditional denture upkeep.
Though the initial cost of fixed prosthodontics may be higher, removable prosthodontics are more expensive in the long run. Maintenance costs build up over time and can get quite expensive. Plus, removable prosthodontics wear out or may need a replacement for other reasons.
Improving Your Smile
Missing teeth can be uncomfortable, impacting how you feel about your smile and potentially having a detrimental impact on your dental health. Through prosthodontics, your smile can be restored with long-lasting, virtually undetectable replacement teeth.
Feel free to call our dentist in Boise, ID, to schedule an appointment and learn more about how prosthodontics can benefit you.