Prosthodontics: the science and art of replacing missing teeth

Even the loss of one tooth affects your other teeth, your jaw, and even your overall health eventually. Firstly, its corresponding tooth on the opposing jaw no longer has anything to bite against. Secondly, it can destabilise your other teeth, which can start to drift, tip into the gap and maybe even fall out.

At Kings Dental in Hammersmith, we have seen what can result from one lost tooth, and we always recommend getting a replacement for your missing tooth.

Prosthodontics in Hammersmith

Prosthodontics in HammersmithDentistry has long been concerned with replacing missing teeth. Prosthodontics is the name of the branch of dentistry that focuses on artificial replacements for missing teeth. There are several kinds to choose from these days, thanks to advances in dental research. You can choose between a fixed or removable replacement for the crown, or a replacement for both root and crown.

The fixed bridge

There are several kinds of bridges. The traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (replacement tooth) in between. The most common type of bridge is made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. We use cantilever bridges if you only have teeth on one side of the gap. Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth. Bridges can last 5 — 15 years, depending on how well you take care of them.

Dentures

Dentures (or false teeth) are removable replacements for missing teeth. They tend to be made of either acrylic or porcelain for the crowns. They rely on suction to the gums for support for chewing. Complete dentures are used to replace all the teeth, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.

Dental implants

Dental implants are inserted into the jaw. They are titanium posts or screws onto which we attach single or several teeth. They can replace dentures, or be used to stabilise dentures. They are not available on the NHS. When looked after, they can last a lifetime.

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about prosthodontics but were afraid to ask

What is prosthodontics?

Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that focusses on the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and maintenance of the mouth function. It is also used to improve the comfort, appearance, and health of patients with conditions associated with missing or failing teeth.

prosthodontics-in-hammersmithWhat is a prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed dental school plus three additional years of advanced training. They specialise in treating and handling dental and facial problems that involve restoring missing tooth and jaw structures.

Prosthodontic treatments

Prosthodontic treatments are designed to create a balance between function, longevity and aesthetics. Prosthodontic treatments at Kings Dental Clinic include dental implants, dental veneers and other bonded restorations, dental crowns and dental bridges.

As well as these, prosthodontics treatments can also include removable complete dentures. Complete dentures help people who have lost all their teeth due to trauma or poor oral hygiene, giving them better chewing abilities in addition to a more appealing appearance.

In addition to these, the prosthodontist is also able to provide treatments for jaw problems, snoring disorders, sleep apnea problems and a degree of reconstruction surgery following treatments for oral cancer.

Full mouth rehabilitation

Full mouth rehabilitation treatment improves the appearance of the teeth and has several less obvious benefits. Full mouth rehabilitation is one of the most comprehensive forms of dental treatment that is currently available.

The process combines all dental specialties to individually reconstruct all the damaged teeth in the mouth. This helps to correct a variety of complaints, such as improper bite position and chipped, worn down or broken teeth.

Full mouth rehabilitation is widely considered to be preferable to offering patients removable dental restorations such as dentures.

Anyone considering a full mouth rehabilitation should first consult with an experienced dentist, such as those at Kings Dental Clinic in Hammersmith, who will perform a comprehensive examination to see if the treatment is the best course of action.

The dentist will also consider aesthetics, including the colour, shape, size and proportion of the teeth and consider whether there is a stable bite when deciding if a patient is suitable for full mouth rehabilitation.

The decision on which procedures are required during each full mouth rehabilitation ultimately lies with the dentist and any specialists working with them on behalf of the patient.