A dental prosthesis is an artificial element that serves to restore the anatomy of one or several teeth, allowing the patient to recover the functionality and aesthetics of their teeth.
Dental prostheses are manufactured in a personalized way in materials such as acrylic or porcelain. The base of the dental prosthesis imitates the natural tissue of the gum, with a careful pigmentation known as polymethylmethacrylate, which prevents the accumulation of bacteria.
Objectives of dental prosthetics
The function of dental prostheses is to rehabilitate the dentition in its physiological functions, such as chewing and swallowing food, as well as avoiding pronunciation problems.
With tooth loss, the adjacent teeth tend to shift, causing chewing problems, preventing proper nutrition, hindering proper oral hygiene and, therefore, putting the patient at greater risk of contracting diseases. For this reason, replacing the teeth that have been lost is essential to maintain proper oral and general health.
The recovery of dental aesthetics is another reason to carry out this treatment.
Once the prosthesis is placed, the dentist will give instructions on its maintenance. To increase the durability of dental prostheses, it is necessary to carry out daily care and go to a dental check-up periodically.
For the care of removable prostheses, it is necessary to wash the prosthesis and the oral cavity after each meal, by brushing, using an oral mouthwash and dental floss. The denture must be cleaned with the help of a special denture brush and toothpaste. It is important to use cleaning tablets daily to sanitize the removable prosthesis, as they combat the action of fungi and bacteria and remove stains.
At night, it is recommended to remove the prosthesis to rest from the pressure that this device can exert. Gum massages help improve blood flow.
The cleaning of fixed dental prostheses is carried out in the accessible parts, with a toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Between the pontics and the gum and in the interdental spaces, a special dental floss or an interdental brush will be used. The use of an oral irrigator and a mouthwash under the prescription of a professional is recommended. Adequate oral hygiene must be maintained in the rest of the teeth, regardless of the special care for dental prostheses.
Types of dental prostheses
There are different types of dental prostheses: complete dental prostheses, when they replace all the teeth in one of the arches, or partial, if they only replace some teeth.
Fixed prostheses are those that cannot be removed by the patient, that is, they must be removed by a dentist in case they want to be removed.
Within fixed dental prostheses, there is the following classification of types of dental prostheses:
Tooth-supported fixed crowns or bridges. These prostheses serve to restore one or more teeth. They are placed on the previously carved teeth, being them their only support. They are made by taking impressions of the rest of the teeth to make them match in size and color. Crowns can be metal-ceramic or zirconium. The latter offer several advantages, such as greater biocompatibility.
Fixed prosthesis on implants. Implant-supported prostheses consist of a prosthetic structure fixed by screws or cemented to implants that have been previously placed within the maxillary bones. It is a restorative dentistry treatment that is used to recover the functionality and aesthetics of the entire arch.
Hybrid prosthetics on implants. Some prostheses combine the fixation of the implants with the mucosal surface of the gums to fit the prosthesis. They are recommended in patients with considerable bone resorption. Hybrid prostheses are made using acrylic materials. To clean them, the patient must go to the dental office, where the dentist will remove the prosthesis to sanitize it and keep it in good condition.
Removable dental prostheses are those that can be removed by the patient himself. They are the most chosen option by people unable to undergo dental implant placement, since they do not have the appropriate conditions for it.
When you want to recover all your teeth, you choose to choose complete removable prostheses. These prostheses cover the entire bone crest, that is, the bone where the natural teeth were previously located. They are also known as “mucous-supported”, since they ensure their support thanks to the gums and the composition of the prosthesis itself.
This type of dental prosthesis is usually made from a system called “induction”, which makes it more resistant.
If the patient has an edentulous oral area, but still retains some teeth in the arch, a removable partial resin prosthesis can be used, also known as “mucodental-supported”. They are held in the mouth through the gum and adjacent teeth by means of metal hooks.
When the patient has several edentulous areas in an arch, removable skeletal prostheses are the most indicated to solve their oral problem. This type of dental prosthesis has a structure made with different metal alloys. To achieve greater fixation without the need for hooks, male and female connectors can be used. The male connector is placed on the prosthesis and the female connector on the tooth that will be in contact with the prosthesis.