Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with restoring and replacing damaged or missing teeth. A prosthodontist is a highly trained dental specialist who receives advanced training to perform simple or complex dental procedures using state of the art technology.
Prosthodontists understand the anatomy of teeth and their relation with other structures (gums, lips, jaws, and other facial features) present in the mouth the best. They combine various disciplines of dentistry to yield a fully functional and cosmetically appealing smile. Among the other services they offer, prosthodontists also perform screenings for oral cancer, maxillofacial surgeries, diagnose and treat TMD and obstructive sleep apnea.
What are the different services available under prosthodontics?
1. Replacing missing teeth
You may experience tooth loss due to advancing age, dental trauma, or decay. It is common and can affect anybody, coming from any walk of life. Missing teeth are hard to live with and impact your health and appearance negatively. They should be replaced as soon as possible.
Prosthodontics provides various dental prosthesis or restorations to replace missing teeth. Prosthodontists work closely with dental laboratories to custom design dental restorations from durable, high-end materials. Their expertise enables them to treat the most difficult and challenging dental problems. Some dental restorations used for replacing missing teeth are:
● Dental bridges
As the name suggests, dental bridges truly bridge or span the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge consists of artificial teeth connected to dental crowns on one or both sides. The crowns sit on the teeth present adjacent to the gap left by missing teeth, while the artificial teeth fill the gap and restore your smile.
● Complete dentures
Full or complete dentures are removable dental prosthesis used when a patient is missing all teeth on a dental arch. A complete denture consists of artificial teeth connected to a gum-colored base. The base sits comfortably on the gums and acts as a foundation, while the artificial teeth mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth.
● Partial dentures
Partial dentures are removable dental prosthesis used to replace one or more missing teeth. Like complete dentures, they consist of a gum-colored base that sits on the gum tissues and artificial teeth that fill the gap left by a missing tooth or multiple teeth. The base is connected to a metal framework that holds the partial denture in place.
● Dental implants
Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically installed in the jaw, below the gums. They fuse with the natural bone and act as false tooth roots. Dental restorations like crowns, bridges or overdentures are mounted on dental implants to restore the visible portion of missing teeth. Implants stand strong and sturdy in their position and do not come loose.
2. Cosmetic enhancements
Cosmetic enhancements are made by prosthodontists to improve the appearance of the smile. They combine various procedures to improve the shape, size, alignment, and color of teeth to make them look attractive and pleasing. Some procedures for improving the cosmetic appeal of teeth are:
● Crown lengthening
Crown lengthening treats gummy smiles. It removes extra gum tissue that covers the crowns of teeth and makes them look short and unsightly. Soft tissue dental lasers shoot concentrated beams of light to eliminate gum tissues while sealing the exposed blood vessels and nerve endings. After the procedure, the teeth appear long, uniform and cosmetically appealing.
● Enamel reshaping
Enamel reshaping is performed to remove chips and rough spots from the surface of teeth. Special dental tools are used to re-contour the teeth by either removing small amounts of enamel or filling gaps and holes with tooth fillings to make the teeth look smooth and even. The procedure allows you to enjoy a uniform and lustrous smile.
● Dental crowns
Dental crowns are custom-designed, tooth-shaped caps that are used to cover damaged or weak teeth to restore their shape, size, strength, and appearance. They are permanently cemented in place and cover the entire visible portion of natural teeth.
● Dental veneers
Dental veneers are very fine, custom-designed, tooth-colored porcelain jackets that are placed over the topical surface of teeth to cover imperfections like chips, cracks, discoloration, and gaps. 0.5 mm of tooth enamel is removed to make room for the veneer and a dental adhesive used to permanently install it in place.
● Tooth fillings
Tooth fillings are dental restorations used to restore the function, appearance, and morphology of missing tooth structure resulting from decay or damage. Cosmetic dentistry uses tooth-colored fillings to repair teeth with cavities, caries, chips, cracks, and discoloration. The decay or damage is removed, and the filling material is placed in layers inside the cavity and the tooth is shaped and polished.
● Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. It is used to treat stained and discolored teeth to render a glistening and lustrous smile. A whitening gel is painted on the surface of teeth and a special blue light is used to activate the oxidizing agents present in the gel. The oxidizing agents break down stains and leave the teeth white and bright.
3. Oral or maxillofacial surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is often seen as a bridge between medicine and dentistry. It focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the hard and soft tissues of the facial complex, mouth, neck, and jaw.
Doctors who perform oral and maxillofacial surgeries are called oral surgeons. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons use cutting edge technology like CT and MRI scans to view the head and neck anatomy in 3D. These three-dimensional images can be easily manipulated to generate virtual 3D models to effectively plan a surgery. In many instances, oral and maxillofacial surgeons work closely with other specialists to provide the required treatment.
4. Complex care management
Prosthodontists train for extra years to treat and manage the most complex teeth restoration and replacement problems. They are capable of:
- Full mouth rehabilitation after serious dental trauma.
- Treating genetic facial defects.
- Treating temporomandibular joint syndrome.
- Managing and treating obtrusive sleep apnea.
At Ayoub Dental we employ the practices of modern dentistry to systematically repair damage and enhance the appearance of your smile. We design a custom plan for each patient to meet their individual requirements. For further doubts and queries, book an appointment with us or visit our office today.