Prosthodontics is the art and science of replacing damaged or missing teeth. Prosthodontists create crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants to help complete a patient's smile.
The Importance of Replacing Teeth
Many patients believe replacing missing teeth is too expensive or time-consuming. They feel that they can live with gaps in their teeth.
Dentists caution that failing to replace missing teeth can lead to multiple oral health problems:
Missing teeth cause their neighbors to shift, becoming crooked and crossed. Crowded teeth are more prone to developing tooth decay and cause gum disease because they are harder to keep clean.
Diminished Jawbone Strength
When patients have teeth extracted and do not promptly replace them, the jawbone structure begins to break down due to a lack of chewing stimulation. This problem can lead to an appearance of premature aging.
Increased Oral Bacteria
Gaps between teeth provide places for food and bacteria to collect. Tooth decay and oral infections may be more likely.
Tooth Reconstruction and Replacement
Inlays & Onlays
These dental appliances can repair a tooth that has sustained too much damage for a filling but does not need a crown. Inlays and onlays repair the chewing surfaces of the teeth, providing a functional, aesthetically pleasing restoration.
Dental crowns are also called caps. They cover and protect natural teeth that have suffered too much damage for a filling. Crowns restore chewing function as well as appearance.
A dental bridge is a useful appliance that replaces extracted teeth. A bridge can hold from one to four artificial teeth or pontics. Bridges connect to crowns or implants on either side of the gap.
Patients with severely compromised teeth can have them extracted and revive their smiles with dentures. Today, dentists offer many denture options, from removable full-arch models to permanent, implant-supported varieties. Patients can also receive partial dentures to replace a few teeth at a time.
Dental implants are the most advanced tooth replacements. The implant post bonds with the jawbone, making it feel natural and helping to preserve bone structure. Dental implants are beautiful, strong, and easy to care for.
Schedule A Consultation
If you feel that you have lived long enough without being able to share a complete smile, it may be time to talk to your dentist about prosthodontics. We will examine your teeth and provide treatment recommendations for your schedule and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prosthodontics
Can I get implants if my tooth has been missing for some time?
Missing teeth cause jawbone deterioration. You may need a procedure called a dental bone graft before you can receive implants. After the graft heals, you can receive implants.
How long does it take to get dentures?
The denture process is faster than most people expect. It takes only a few months from start to finish to receive a complete set.
Call Total Dental Care
If you have teeth that need replacement, don't wait to call our Germantown, MD, office at 240-813-9111. Our expert doctors can show you how a complete smile can improve your oral health and quality of life.