What is prosthodontics?
The specialty of prosthodontics is concerned with the replacement of missing teeth with crowns, bridges, dentures and dental implants. These prostheses can be either removable, as is the case with dentures, or fixed as is the case with crowns, bridges and dental implants.
Below is a list of the different materials and prostheses a prosthodontist will use to help restore or replace teeth.
Composites: A tooth coloured filling material that can be bonded directly to tooth tissue.
Veneers: Porcelain facings that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve their function and aesthetics.
Crowns: Fixed prostheses to improve the structural integrity, function and aesthetics of damaged teeth. They are made of various different materials including gold, porcelain and porcelain fused to a precious metal.
Bridge: A fixed prosthesis that replaces a missing tooth/teeth. The bridge is normally anchored on the teeth either side of the missing tooth.
Dentures: These are removable appliances to replace missing teeth. They can either be made entirely of acrylic, or of acrylic fused to a cobalt chrome frame. Dentures are either supported by soft tissues alone, or by teeth and soft tissues.
Dental Implants: These are fixed titanium screws that are inserted into the jawbone, following which they are used as anchors to support crowns, bridges or dentures.
What is tooth wear?
Tooth wear is the gradual loss of enamel and dentine from tooth surfaces. It is generally caused by a combination of acid in the diet, incorrect tooth brushing techniques and grinding. Most people will have a degree of tooth wear, which progresses slowly with age and is not seen as a problem. However in some cases the teeth may shorten, become thinner, fracture, discolour and/or become sensitive. In such cases treatment may become necessary.
A specialist prosthodontist is trained to diagnose, treat and restore teeth damaged from wear, so that they remain functional and protected, whilst improving the overall aesthetics. This is carried out through a combination of careful assessment, advice, monitoring, placement of white composite fillings and veneers, and in some cases crowns. Each case is individually planned and treated according to the patient’s needs.
After an initial assessment, you and your dentist will be contacted with a letter detailing the planned treatment. We will write to your dentist again after treatment is completed detailing the work that has been done.
Please contact the practice if you have any questions regarding prosthodontic treatments.