Restoring chipped, cracked, or missing teeth is important to your overall dental health. Damaged teeth could potentially lead to decay or periodontal disease, not to mention ruin your perfectly good appearance. Missing teeth, on the other hand, could affect your ability to eat or even speak because the gap creates a shift in your teeth. Whether it’s damaged or missing teeth, both conditions will impact your functional and aesthetic needs.
Now what does learning about prosthodontics have to do with teeth restoration?
Prosthodontics is about restoring and replacing teeth. It is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. This branch of dentistry includes the following procedures:
- Complete and Partial Dentures
- Dental Implants
- Inlays and Onlays
Each procedure is different. This is not limited to the rate with each service, but also relates to how each procedure allows you to regain the ideal condition of your teeth. There is also the matter of post-treatment plan; some procedures may be harder to maintain than others. And there are also procedures that would suit your needs more, from long-term dental improvement to permanent solution.
Naturally, your prosthodontist or general dentist will provide you with the suitable options. In some cases, a prosthodontist might even recommend one specific procedure, knowing your dental history and current condition. But ultimately, the decision is up to you. So it pays to make more than a cursory glance at what, for example, the different is between bridges and dental implants. Incidentally, both are used to replace missing teeth.
Bridges are false teeth. They are anchored at either side by crowns, then cemented in place. Implants, meanwhile, are replacement tooth roots. The procedure can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. The upside to dental implants is that the adjacent teeth do not need the kind of preparation required for placing bridges.
When it comes to restoring the appearance of cracked or chipped teeth, you might consider crowns. It is placed over the damaged tooth, like a fitted cap. Fillings, which come in amalgam and composite or porcelain fillings, are also used for damaged teeth. But they are generally used only for teeth with minimal damages.
Teeth restoration and replacement requires careful thought. Your prosthodontist will recommend the best possible plan for your condition and your needs. But know which procedures have more pros than cons. And don’t just consider the initial cost, but rather weigh the long-term benefits of one procedure over another.