If you have lost one or more teeth, your dentist may refer you to a prosthodontist for the restoration of your mouth. A prosthodontist specializes in the replacement of teeth and missing components of the jaw.
Here are a few applications that this dental specialty may offer.
A dental implant is a titanium screw or rod that is used to replace the root of a lost tooth. The implant is drilled into the jawbone through the gingival tissues. Once the device is in place, the bone and soft tissues around the device begin to heal. The bone cells grow around the implant, integrating with it through a process called osseointegration.
Osseointegration is usually complete within a few months, securing the implant in the bone. Due to the stability of the device, the implant can withstand the normal pressures associated with mastication without shifting from its position.
When topped by an abutment and a dental crown, an implant can be used to restore a single tooth. However, an implant can also be used to support other applications that are used in prosthodontics, such as dentures.
Dentures are also used by prosthodontists. A denture replaces multiple missing teeth. If several teeth are lost from a palate, a partial denture can be applied. However, if all of the teeth in a palate are lost, a full denture can be used.
A denture is customized to fit the exact dimensions of your mouth. The device is designed to sit flush against the soft tissues, creating stabilizing suction that holds the denture securely in position.
Nevertheless, the greatest amount of natural suction is created by a top denture, due to the curvature of the roof of the mouth. The bottom denture may need additional support from an adhesive or a connection to existing teeth or dental implants.
In fact, dental implants can be used to support top or bottom dentures. In some cases, permanent dentures may be prescribed. A permanent denture is attached to implants using screws that can only be removed by a dental professional.
Traditional dentures that are implant-supported can attach and detach from implants using a specialized mechanism that is added to the underside of a denture. A dentist is not needed to remove the dentures from the mouth. The patient can operate the detachment mechanism at will.
For more information about tooth-replacement services, schedule an appointment with a prosthodontist at a clinic, such as New England Dental Specialists of Norwood, in your local area.