Dentures are prosthetic devices designed to help patients with missing teeth, chew food, improve speaking habits, and improve the patient's facial aesthetics. The absence of teeth can lead to a sunken, collapsed appearance to the mouth-area. By restoring the physical presence of teeth, this malformation is corrected, the patient's mouth is supported and the appearance is improved by aesthetic standards.
Aesthetic dentures are custom crafted to provide a precise comfortable fit, and to enhance overall facial features. The color of the teeth is carefully selected and the natural differences in tooth shape and size are carefully chosen based on each individual's age, gender and unique facial qualities. In addition, dentures are made to replicate the gum tissue naturally while providing the proper structure and support for lips, cheeks and face.
Types Of Dentures
There are three types of dentures:
Stability Of Dentures
A frequent issue with dentures is their ability to remain in place during usage. This is based on the following factors:
The denture may have a tendency to clasp tighter and tighter to the gums as the mouth chews food. The better the support, the less likely the denture is to move vertically closer to the arch upon which it is situated.
Movement in the horizontal plane, sometimes described as "slipping" front to back or side to side, can be hazardous to the patient. The quality of a denture base is responsible for preventing movement and maintaining continuous contact with the gums. However, this is heavily dependent on the patient's oral anatomy.
Retention describes the tendency of the denture to move vertically away from the gums, into the lumen of the mouth. The craftsmanship of the denture is tested here, as the better the intaglio or the inside of denture, copies the oral topography, the more effective the seal is.
Maxillary dentures, used for the top teeth, achieve better unification with toothless gums due to the improvement in suction from the smooth surface. However, mandibular dentures, used for the bottom teeth, are much more effective if the patient still retains some teeth.
Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth.
A dental bridge can be used to:
- Restore an attractive smile
- Reduce the risk of gum disease
- Restore the ability to bite and chew
- Improve speech
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Types Of Dental Bridges
The Dental Bridge Procedure
There are several steps that are taken in order to create a bridge:
The adjacent teeth must be prepared. This involves removing some of the enamel to allow room for the crown to be placed over them.
Impressions of the teeth are made. These will be sent to a laboratory so a bridge, a false tooth or pontic, and crowns can be created to fit the unique configuration of the patient's mouth. During the 2 to 3 weeks while the bridge is being manufactured, the patient will be given a temporary dental bridge to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
During the next dental visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and replaced with the new, permanent bridge. The doctor will make sure the bridge fits properly and cement it to the teeth.
Recovery After A Dental Bridge Placement
Replacing missing teeth should make eating easier, but until they get used to the bridge, patients are advised to eat soft food cut into small pieces. For a few weeks after receiving a bridge, it is common to experience increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures. Patients will also notice a difference in their speech which will become clearer with the permanent bridge in place.
Results Of A Dental Bridge Placement
With good oral hygiene, a dental bridge will last from 5 to 15 years, sometimes longer. Patients must remember to practice proper care of their teeth and gums to prevent the build-up of bacteria and formation of plaque. Regular dental visits and cleanings will still be required.