Prostheses - artificial teeth
Dentures, also known as artificial teeth, are prosthetic restorations constructed to replace missing teeth and supporting surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable. However, there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, the distinction being whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or on the maxillary arch.
Benefits of dentures
Dentures can help in the following:
- Mastication, as chewing is improved when the free surface of the tooth is replaced by the dentures
- Aesthetics because the presence of teeth gives a natural facial expression and wearing a denture to replace missing teeth provides support for the lips and cheeks and corrects the collapsed appearance that results from the loss of teeth
- Pronunciation, because replacing missing teeth, especially the anteriors, enables patients to speak better. There is especially improvement in pronouncing words containing sibilants or fricatives
Removable partial dentures
Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing teeth on one of the arches.
Removable partial dentures are designed for patients who are partially missing teeth and want to make artificial teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons, and who may not have the bridge for number of reasons such as, for example, lack of necessary supporting teeth or due to financial reasons.
Complete dentures are for patients who are missing all teeth in one of the arches (i.e., the maxillary (upper) or mandibular (lower) arch).
Retention is the principle that describes how well the denture is holding in order not to dislodge vertically in the direction opposite to the direction of the setting. With better contact surface of the prosthesis with the mucosa, there will be better retention (in removable partial dentures, the clasps are a major provider of retention), because the tension, suction and friction will prevent that the prosthesis base is separated from the surface of the mucosa. It is important to bear in mind that for the perfect fit of complete maxillary dentures marginal seal is of grat importance. Implant technology greatly enhances the experience of patients wearing dentures by providing greater stability and preventing bone wearing. Implants also help retention. On implants we can attach small retentive appliances that will then snap into a modified base on the prosthesis and enable extremely increased retention. Among others, these appliances include metal wire, or other attachements.
Daily cleaning of dentures is recommended. The prosthesis can accumulate plaque and tartar as well as natural teeth. Cleaning is done by chemical or mechanical means.