What is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics, also known as dental prosthetic or prosthetic dentistry, is the area of dentistry that focuses on dental prostheses. It is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA defines it as “the 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 or oral and maxillofacial tissues using bio-compatible substitutes. So, who is a prosthodontist and why visit a prosthodontist?
Who is a prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed dental school plus three additional years of advanced training and education in an ADA-accredited prosthodontic graduate program. They specialize in treating and handling dental and facial problems that involve restoring missing tooth and jaw structures. A prosthodontist is highly trained in cosmetics, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD), and more.
Why visit a prosthodontist?
Choose a prosthodontist because of their advanced education and training, efficiency, and expertise with advanced technology. Prosthodontists are extensively trained in state-of-the-art techniques and procedures for treating complex dental conditions and restoring optimum function and esthetics. Rigorous training and experience give prosthodontists a special understanding of the dynamics of a smile and the preservation of a healthy mouth.
What Does Prosthodontists Do?
As their name implies (“prosthesis” = addition or attachment, “odont” = tooth), these specialists plan and carry out procedures related to the replacement of natural teeth, in part or in full, with biocompatible substitutes. The surgery treatments that prosthodontics include are as follows:
This tooth-replacement method uses the existing, healthy teeth (called abutment teeth) on either side of a gap to support one or more artificial teeth. A series of linked crowns is fabricated as a single unit, which is then attached to the prepared abutment teeth. These work like a roadway-bridge foundation to hold up the crowns for the missing teeth in between. Bridges are a time-tested tooth-replacement method, but require special attention to cleaning, and potentially compromise the structure of the otherwise healthy abutment teeth.
In dentistry, centric relation is the mandibular jaw position in which the head of the condyle is situated as far posteriorly and superiorly as it possibly can within the mandibular fossa/glenoid fossa. This position is used when restoring edentulous patients with removable or either implant-supported hybrid or fixed prostheses. Because the dentist wants to be able to reproducibly relate the patient’s maxilla and mandible, but the patient does not have teeth with which to establish his or her own vertical dimension of occlusion, another method has been devised to achieve this goal. The condyle can only be in the same place as it was the last time it was positioned by the dentist if it is consistently moved to the most superior and anterior position within the fossa.
Artificial covers (sometimes called “caps”) that replace the entire visible surface of a tooth above the gum line. Fabricated of metal, porcelain fused to metal, or all-ceramic (porcelain), crowns are cemented to a prepared tooth with intact roots. They are often needed after a root canal procedure, or to repair fractured, broken or misshapen teeth.
Wafer-thin shells of ceramic material that cover the front surfaces of teeth, providing a dramatic change in appearance. These are bonded to teeth that have been prepared by having a small amount of enamel removed, so they don’t appear too bulky. Long-lasting veneers can change the size, shape or color of teeth, and even close small gaps between.
Complete dentures are available in many different types, including full, partial, and implant-supported varieties. They can improve the aesthetics and functionality of an individual who is missing teeth—particularly when the dentures are manufactured to a high standard of workmanship and fitted correctly in the mouth. However, wearing dentures typically requires an adjustment period, and some find them uncomfortable in certain situations.
Fixed prosthodontics is the area of prosthodontics focused on permanently attached (fixed) dental prostheses. Such dental restorations, also referred to as indirect restorations, include crowns, bridges (fixed dentures), inlays, onlays, and veneers. Prosthodontists are specialist dentists who have undertaken training recognized by academic institutions in this field. Fixed prosthodontics can be used to restore single or multiple teeth, spanning areas where teeth have been lost. In general, the main advantages of fixed prosthodontics when compared to direct restorations is the superior strength when used in large restorations, and the ability to create an aesthetic looking tooth. As with any dental restoration, principles used to determine the appropriate restoration involves consideration of the materials to be used, extent of tooth destruction, orientation and location of tooth, and condition of neighboring teeth.
In dentistry, an inlay is usually an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (as gold, porcelain or less often a cured composite resin) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. This technique involves fabricating the restoration outside of the mouth using the dental impressions of the prepared tooth, rather than placing a soft filling into the prepared tooth before the material sets hard. An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it incorporates a replacement for a tooth cusp by covering the area where the missing cusp would be. Crowns cover all surfaces of the anatomical tooth crown.
A removable partial denture (RPD) is a denture for a partially edentulous patient who desires to have replacement teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons and who cannot have a bridge (a fixed partial denture) for any reason, such as a lack of required teeth to serve as support for a bridge (i.e. distal abutments) or financial limitations. This type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture because patients can remove and reinsert it when required without professional help. Conversely, a “fixed” prosthesis can and should be removed only by a dental professional.
When it’s necessary to replace an entire tooth (both roots and crown), this method is considered today’s gold standard. Implants consist of a titanium metal post which is implanted in the jaw in a minor surgical procedure. This screw-like post becomes fused with the jaw bone, providing a solid anchorage for a lifelike crown. Implants can be used to replace single or multiple teeth, or to support other types of dental restorations, such as bridges or dentures. While implant surgery is usually performed by other specialists, prosthodontists often design and place the implant crowns. Implants are initially the most costly tooth replacement method, but may prove an excellent value in the long run, as they can last a lifetime.
It is the restoration of the form and function of the masticatory apparatus to as near as possible. All patients requiring full mouth rehabilitation have one problem in common : stress and strain. Usually stress is due to malfunction of oral mechanism. In order to prevent this stress from being destructive, the best thing to do is to distribute evenly over as many teeth and as much tissue as possible, with the teeth providing a means by which the forces are distributed. the most common reason for getting full mouth rehabilitation is to obtain and maintain the health of periodontal tissues. temperomandibular joint disturbance is another reason. need for extensive dentistry as in case of missing teeth, worn down teeth and old fillings that need replacement. Aesthetics , as in case of multiple anterior worn down teeth and missing teeth.