When you have one or several teeth missing, a dentist can help you replace them. Bridges or dentures are some of the alternatives he/she may suggest. For these replacements, your dentist can do it directly or send you to a specialist known as a prosthodontist. The specialist has studied a dental program known as prosthodontics. It is a dental field dealing with replacement or restoration of natural teeth using an artificial substitute.
A bridge is a dental repair object used to replace a missing tooth or several teeth. It is artificial in nature and is usually placed where there is no tooth. In order for the bridge to hold, it may be supported by the teeth on either side. It can also be fitted on a dental implant. Once it is fitted, it stays there permanently.
The procedure of fitting a bridge
The dentist reshapes the two healthy teeth lying beside the gap where your natural tooth once stood. In case the two teeth are not healthy enough, he/she can place an implant. Implants help anchor bridges or artificial teeth and hold them firmly.
The next step is to create a copy of your teeth. The prototype is then used to come up with artificial teeth and crowns. This is what we are calling a bridge.
In the meantime, the dentist places a protective cover over the gums and teeth that were exposed during filing and reshaping.
On your next visit, the temporary cover is removed and replaced by bridges.
A denture is a replacement for teeth and gums. You may lose teeth through illness, accident or neglect. As a result, you are only left with few or no teeth. Dentures can replace what you lost and restore your mouth back to its normal state. Dentures are either complete or partial. In both cases, the tooth specialist has to take impressions of your teeth in order to create or mold the replacement.
a) Partial Dentures
Also referred to as partials, they are used in situations where remaining teeth cannot hold a bridge. Partial dentures are also recommended where one has lost several teeth. A partial denture is put in place with the help of a clasp. These clasps also help by supporting the artificial teeth on nearby healthy teeth. You can remove the denture, clean and put it back.
b) Complete Dentures
People call them false teeth. They are used where all natural teeth have been lost. You can also remove and put them back. Suction force is used to hold them in place. Before you get used to having them, you may experience some soreness on your gums but this goes away with time.
In order to clean your dentures, simply remove them from the mouth. Rinse in clean running water and brush them using a soft brush and denture cleaner. Massage your gums as well. For partial dentures, brush and floss your teeth as usual. Remember to remove your dentures at night and give your gums a rest. Soak the dentures overnight in clean water.