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Prosthodontics is the dental speciality for the restoration and replacement of teeth. Prosthodontic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, dental implants and dentures. Treatment can be for a single tooth at a time but it can also be on a more comprehensive scale where it involves several and sometimes all teeth.
The aim of prosthodontic treatment is to provide the patient with an aesthetic and functional set of teeth and treatment usually addresses specific dental concerns. Where cosmetic changes to teeth may be a choice on the part of the patient, prosthodontic treatment rarely is. Teeth are important in every aspect of our daily lives and worn, broken or missing teeth can be the cause of great concern, and unhappiness. The outcome of prosthodontic treatment is therefore frequently described as life changing by patients who no longer have to live with fears of public embarrassment and limitations.
A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth, giving extra strength and improving the tooth's aesthetics. Crowns can be made of porcelain and precious metal compounds of gold, glass or porcelain and should be matched closely to the natural shade of your teeth.
Bridges replace missing teeth. They comprise false teeth, known as pontics, anchored with crowns on neighbouring teeth. The supporting teeth need to be strong and healthy to support the bridge though precisely positioned implants can also be used.
There are many types of dentures but they all share the common goal of replacing missing teeth in as comfortable and aesthetic way as possible. Partial dentures replace a few missing teeth while full dentures are used by patients who have lost all their teeth in either one or both jaws. Successful dentures carefully constructed with the patient's input are often described by the patient as life changing. It is also one of the most professionally rewarding treatments that a prosthodontist can provide. Dentures can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain and plastic, and can be removable or fixed using dental implants.