Dental Prosthetics are treatments commonly used to replace lost teeth or molars, to improve the mastication process, speech and aesthetics. Odontologists and stomatologists are the suitable professionals to prescribe and fit dental prosthetics.
The following are the different kinds of Dental Prosthesis:
- Fixed Prosthesis
- Complete Prosthesis
- Removable Prosthesis
- Mixed Prosthesis
Hygiene Care for the Dental Prosthesis
Rinsing of the mouth and Dental Prosthetics must take place after each meal and especially before going to bed. Natural teeth or fixed elements of the Prosthesis should be brushed with toothpaste and a suitable toothbrush.
Dental floss may be used between the crowns (caps), ridges and gums. If there are big spaces between the teeth, interdental brushes may be used. You can finally use a handpiece, either with or without mouthwash. The removable part of the prosthesis should be rinsed out of the mouth, at least once a day, using a prosthesis rush or a nailbrush and neutral soap. Rinse with water and keep during the night in a glass of water, where you can also put cleaning disinfecting tablets, available in pharmacies.
Taking care of the Prosthesis
During the first few days, it is recommended to close your mouth and chew carefully, to avoid either biting the tongue or cheeks, or overburdening the gums or sore teeth.
Chew soft and non-sticky foods, gradually increasing food consistency. Mouthwashes and ointments, or soothing and healing gels may be used to treat bitings.
In case you feel pain or any wound does appear in your mouth, go to the dentist, and your prosthesis will be adjusted, and, if necessary, your doctor will prescribe you the right medication.
Complete prosthesis may move around in your mouth when you speak or eat during the first few days after the procedure is done. You will have to learn to chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time, to stabilize your teeth.
There are products (creams and powders) that help retention and adaptation of prosthesis, but you should proceed with careful dental evaluation before starting to use them.
You should visit your dentist every six months for the revision of your dental prosthesis, and to check if there is “tooth wear”, to correct misadjustments that may have appeared and, in general, to make the necessary adaptations to the normal variations that may have happened in your mouth along that time.
Dental Fixed Prosthesis is a treatment to replace natural worn or lost teeth with customized teeth. The following options are available:
- Caps or individual crowns that restore the damaged or lost part of the tooth.
- Bridges that replace lost or absent pieces, fixed with crowns to the adjacent teeth.
It is necessary, in both cases, to process and grind the capped teeth.
Fixed prosthesis are more comfortable, more easily tolerated and present less inconveniences than removable prosthesis, though they are usually more expensive, and need to be more frequently checked by the dentist.
Over time, the natural atrophy of the maxillary bone or gums withdrawal usually shows the “joint” or union between the tooth and the cap. This usually has an unpleasant aesthetic effect, so that you will ask for replacement. At first, artificial teeth seem to be very big and to press the adjacent ones, but this feeling disappears over time. Your tongue or cheecks may also be bitten, or it could even happen that you find difficult to pronounce some sounds or syllables. You will find out how to avoid it over time. If your prosthesis was provisionally cemented and it is detached from your mouth, wash it, keep it, and visit your dentist immediately.
The complete prosthesis is a treatment aimed to those patients who have lost all of their natural teeth, using oral appliances that artificially replace them. They are useful to improve mastication and also to enhance speaking and aesthetical appearance of the patient.
The main disadvantage of this kind of prosthesis is its movility, specially regarding the lower piece, which can easily suffer displacements because of the movement of the tongue.
The teeth of the upper prosthesis, though it usually has a better fixation to the maxillar, may be covered by the upper lip.
Over time, the maxillar bones (where the prosthesis is fixed) are reabsorbed. In this way, the prosthesis may loose fixation, causing discomfort or ulcerations that require a visit to your dentist, so that he/she can correct its adjustment.
Dental removable prosthesis is a treatment to replace lost teeth, using some appliances that may and should be extracted from the patient’s mouth to rinse them. This appliance is fixed to adjacent teeth with some retainers or clasps. They normally lay on the alveolar mucosa, so that a light swing may be felt when eating. Therefore, the effect of mastication is less effective than with natural teeth. Over time, the remaining teeth suffer a displacement and maxillar bones suffer a change, so that appliances may need a further adjustment, causing discomfort or ulcerations that require a visit to your dentist. In this way, he/she will correct its adjustment. Metallic or plastic elements may also suffer splits, due to the elastic fatigue. If it occurs, these elements will have to be immediately repaired by your dentist.
You will feel that the denture feels strange in your mouth when you first begin to wear it, and you will also produce more saliva than normal. Your may also have difficult chewing, speaking or saying certain words. As the patient gets used to his/her prosthesis, this discomphort typically fades.
Mixed Dental Prosthesis is a treatment to replace lost teeth, which uses two kind of elements that work together as a whole. This is a unique prosthesis.
- A fixed element, made with caps or bridges that can’t be removed of the mouth.
- A removable element that consists of a removable appliance that may and should be removed from the mouth, to be rinsed.
Since this kind of prosthesis is mixed, you will be required to apply both the limitations and cares from both, the Fixed and Removable Prosthesis. Therefore, it will require a more accurate hygiene and a more frequent checking by the dentist
Overdenture is a treatment to replace lost teeeth with oral appliances that hold artificial teeth, covering some fixed elements, anchored to natural teeth, or rest of roots, where the retention elements are settled. They enhance the fixing of complete prosthesis, helping the patient to feel more self-confident when chewing or speaking.
The fixed element, setteld on the roots, is highly sensitive, so that an accurate hygiene is required, not being suitable to chew extremely hard foods.
Roots or endodontics can sometimes suffer breakages. In this case, they should be removed.