Dental implants are surgical devices that are a substitute for missing tooth or teeth. Many people prefer dental implants because it is a safe and successful procedure. If a person does not have enough jaw bone density, then he/she is not suitable for dental implants. In such cases the person can opt for other alternatives such as dentures or fixed bridges.
Dentures: Dentures are made up of plastic base or metallic frame. Dentures are also called false teeth. People having missing teeth can go for dentures to replace their missing teeth. Dentures improve mastication capacity, speaking ability and is aesthetic in appearance.
Before placing a denture, the dentist will take impression of patients jaw and will measure the space created by missing teeth. The impressions will be then send to the lab, after which dentures are prepared with wax or plastic. Dentures give support to your lips and cheeks. Dentures are of two types, partial dentures and complete dentures.
- Partial dentures: Partial dentures are used if patient has lost one or more teeth either on upper or lower jaw. It protects other teeth from changing their position. These dentures consist of a colored plastic base on which denture is placed. These are made up of wax or plastic. Now a days, valpast material is used to prepare dentures to provide durability and flexibility. These partial dentures are again classified into 2 types, removable dentures and fixed dentures.
- Removable dentures: These are partially removable dentures. These dentures can be removed easily by patient. To protect from wrapping, dentures should be placed in water when not in use.
- Fixed dentures: Once fixed, these can be removed only by dentist only. Crowns and bridges come under this category. These dentures consist of a crown on which denture is placed. These resemble natural teeth and they are stable and expensive than removable dentures.
Fixed bridges: Fixed bridges are attached to the remaining natural teeth and they are non-removable. These bridges fill up the gap created by the missing teeth. Fixed bridges are not widely used because they are expensive, they can damage nerves and cannot be removed.
The advantages of fixed bridges are they last for more than 15 years, they provide support to the cheeks. There are three types of fixed bridges which are, porcelain fixed bridges, cantilever fixed bridges and resin-bonded fixed bridges.
- Porcelain fixed bridges: This is used to replace one or more missing teeth. In this, dentist uses adjacent teeth as abutments. The false teeth called pontic is placed in place of missing teeth and supported by abutments on either sides of the pontics.
- Cantilever fixed bridges: They are used when there is natural teeth supporting on one side of the missing teeth. These are suitable in places where there is less stress.
- Resin-bonded fixed bridges: This is used for replacing front teeth only. These are also called maryland fixed bridges.