When thinking about prosthetics in general, most people’s minds will jump to the prosthetic legs or arms they’ve seen amputees with imagining that this is probably the most common use for prosthetics. The truth is the most common prosthetics are the ones you don’t see unless you are getting a little too up close and personal with someone. 3 million people (a little over the population of Chicago, Illinois) have some form of dental implant and that number has been growing steadily by 500,000 people each year.
With only 10% of dentists working with Prosthetics, it can become difficult to find local experts in your area. That’s why Des Moines Dental Group is here to help. Here’s what you need to know about what we call Prosthodontics, different types of prosthesis, and how a typical installation would go.
What is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is a branch of dentistry that pertains to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of their patients who have clinical conditions such as missing or damaged teeth.
Generally, teeth are able to repair themselves if there is minimal damage and it is treated with proper care. They are no different in this sense that the body reacts to a broken bone or cut on the skin. Once the damage has ruined the structural integrity of a tooth altogether, however, it’s time to utilize modern dental prosthesis which is again similar to losing a limb or too much skin in an accident. The body needs assistance with reparations.
Different Types of Dental Prosthesis
As you’ve read, dental prosthesis can be a broad topic that spans a large number of procedures and implants, but the most common ones you’ve probably heard of more often than you think.
Most everyone has heard of getting dentures put it, and there are enough commercials on television about denture gel to keep food from getting in between your mouth and the dentures or from falling out altogether. DM Dental works to create the most natural look when forming permanent dentures, but we also like to use this as a last resort for someone who has lost all or most of their teeth. We take pride in our realism for look and use, but we know it will never be as good as the real thing.
Not one that commonly comes up in casual conversation, the palatal obturator still performs an important function for people who need one. It essentially is a large mold much like a retainer for post braces that do not have a wire. It is used to cover up or occlude a fistula, or type of hole, typically on the roof of a mouth.
Not always defined as a prosthesis because it is temporary and requires a different form of specialist to implant, Orthodontic Appliances are used mainly to straighten teeth. They can also serve the purpose of correcting a jawline such as an underbite or overbite using different attachments on the main braces component. Over 4 million people in the United States have had braces at some point in their lives.
Partial dentures are single teeth or a small group of teeth that is molded to fit the space in a patients smile as opposed to creating an entirely new one. This can be used both for two purposes. Aesthetic purposes when a simple gap between teeth won’t do a large amount of harm if left alone but could fit a prosthetic tooth to improve your smile. Partial dentures can also span an entire quarter of the mouth to provide something much more important than a complete look.
The crown is the very top part of a tooth and a replacement is formed to protect the lower part of the teeth and make the teeth look natural and new again. Anybody who has bitten into a harder piece of food or candy and damaged or broken a crown will let you know that it is not a comfortable feeling. Getting this taken care of immediately can be crucial to preventing more tooth decay.
A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap — these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth — and a false tooth/teeth in between. This creates a more complete smile and prevents any damage to the exposed gums in between the two real teeth. The false tooth is called a pontic.
How DM Dental Can Help
Des Moines Dental group is one of the proud members of the 10 percent of dentistry offices in the country who perform prosthodontics. We are happy to help you with a wide range of operations to improve your smile and keep your teeth healthy. Our services include Root Canals, permanent dentures, dental implants, dental crowns and bridges, and cosmetic dentistry. We are always here to help make your teeth healthy and have you eating, talking, and most importantly smiling comfortably once again.
We’ll start with a consultation. The discovery of a tooth defect is typically found during a regular dental checkup appointment. That’s only one of the many key reasons you should always stay up to date on your dentist appointments. Finding something that requires prosthesis surgery or operations can become much bigger problems if it isn’t detected at an early stage.
Once this is complete, we will bring you in for a molding whether this be for your entire mouth to create a base for dentures, part of your mouth to create a bridge for your teeth, or to build a crown on just one of your teeth. The key is to create a custom fit that will enhance your smile and maximize comfort and dental hygiene. For smaller procedures, we will be able to install the prosthesis within the same appointment, for others, creating a mold and building the implant might include another fitting appointment. Either way, our hours will happily work around your schedule.