A dental prosthesis is an artificial replacement for natural teeth which also rectifies jaw alignment and vertically straightens the teeth. This improves mastication, helping the patient to articulate and correctly pronounce words while enhancing their smile.
It is made to measure for each patient to ensure a perfect fit and prevent it from moving or coming away from the gum.
There are different kinds of prosthesis, and one or another will be used to suit the needs and possibilities of every patient.
Types of prosthesis.
These are dentures that can be removed and replaced as desired. They are more common among older people.
They can be made in different materials:
It is very important to take good care of your dentures and keep them clean: they must be cleaned after every meal. They must be brushed to prevent plaque build-up and the appearance of stains. They must also be fully submerged in special liquid for 10 minutes every day to achieve in-depth cleaning.
It is advisable to remove dentures for sleeping to rest the tissues that support them throughout the day, although in some patients (those with TMD or who have complete dentures, for instance) it is better to sleep with the dentures in. Ask your dentist which suits you best.
If there is only a little gum and bone to hold the dentures, they may move and cause irritation. Using adhesive can help to stop them rubbing.
Removable dentures will stay in place better when supported by natural teeth or implants.
Non-removable or fixed prosthesis: These are permanent prostheses fitted to sculpted teeth with cement or screwed into implants. They can only be fitted and removed by your dentist. Because they don’t move, they offer the advantage of allowing you to chew normally.
They require good dental hygiene: they must be cleaned immediately after every meal and very carefully before going to bed. The accessible parts should be cleaned using a toothbrush and toothpaste. To clean between the teeth and gums, dental floss or an interdental brush can be used.
Once permanently cemented or screwed in place, they must be checked by your dentist every 6 or 12 months, depending on the kind of prosthesis. This will ensure that everything is in order and will allow your dentist to make any corrections required.
- Mixed prosthesis: here one of the parts is fixed while the other one can be removed and replaced by the patient.
- Prosthesis on implants: these are fitted to fixed implants. They can also be permanent or removable.
Once your prosthesis has been fitted, it is important that you visit your dentist regularly to ensure correct oral hygiene.