This is a branch of dentistry dealing with the replacement of missing teeth and related mouth or jaw structures by bridges, dentures or other artificial devices. Prosthodontics is also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry. It is a dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.
When a patient loses tooth or teeth, this can often result in an inability to chew properly and changed facial appearance. A prosthodontist can help regain the proper function of the teeth and restore a patient’s appearance. They also specialize in the diagnosis of teeth and mouth bite routines. The work of prosthodontist requires care and precision while creating false teeth.
Prosthetics are expected to last for about 30 years or more, depending on the eating habits and hygiene of the patient. Dentures are supposed to be brushed like normal teeth, to let them live longer and to reduce the bacteria and stain build-up. Maxillofacial prosthetics is specialization requires more precision, since other prosthetics are expected to be fabricated and installed on the gravely malformed face. This includes artificial eyes, nose and other facial prostheses. Maxillofacial prosthodontics is the most highly regarded specialization in the field of dentistry due to the complexity of work required to restore severe cases of both dental and maxillofacial deformities.
Fixed prosthodontics is an esthetic way to replace missing or damaged teeth by the use of several dentistry methods as listed below:
- Crowns- they are also called caps. This process involves getting a negative of the tooth to be covered by the crown. The tooth impressions are sent to a technician who fabricates the crown using different materials like, gold, silver and other metals.
- Bridges- these are false teeth installed in the gums whereby the dentist attaches them to adjacent or neighboring teeth.
- Inlay- this is a filling made up of gold or porcelain that is cemented in the drilled portion to the tooth.
- Onlays- they are used when the cusp or perimeter wall of the tooth is missing. They are used for the teeth whose structure cannot be repaired by inlays or dental composite alone.
- Veneers- this is a thin layer of restorative material used to conceal cracks, malocclusions and gaps in between adjacent teeth. They are bonded on to the surface of the teeth.