Prosthodontics - Implants, Bridges, Dentures
Prosthodontics is the field of dentistry dealing with replacing missing teeth, restoring the beautiful smile you once had. Within prosthodontics, there are two separate categories: fixed and removable. Fixed prosthodontics are prosthetics that will be cemented in your mouth, and will not come out. These include implants and bridges. Removable prosthodontics involves dentures and partial dentures, which are not permanently cemented in your mouth. There are pros and cons to each type and each type applies to different situations. If you are missing teeth, and would like to replace them, call our office to schedule a consultation and see what option is best for you.
We are happy to provide our patients the option of a bridge to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth in a row. The dental bridge is cemented in place using two dental crowns on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth. These crowns support the replacement teeth and keep your bite from shifting. A bridge is normally completed in two visits. The first visit involves preparation of the teeth to receive the crowns and an impression to send to the lab. At the end of the first appointment we will fabricate a temporary bridge for you that will be cemented until your permanent bridge comes back from the lab. The second appointment, we remove the temporary bridge and try in your permanent bridge. After verifying a perfect fit and your bite, we cement your new bridge with permanent cement. Bridges are designed to last many years and are an excellent option to replace missing teeth. A bridge can restore function, enhance cosmetics, and maintain your bite for years to come. If you have any questions of whether or not a dental bridge is right for you, Dr. Hopkinson or Dr. Sullivan would be happy to talk with you!
Dental implants are a wonderful option to esthetically and permanently replace missing teeth. When a tooth is missing, the bone will fill in where the socket for the tooth was previously. This provides good solid bone for an implant, which is then surgically placed into the bone and left to heal for several months, through a process called osseointegration. After healing for several months, the implant is then uncovered, and an impression is taken to capture the orientation of the implant and the neighboring teeth. We will then send this impression to our high-end, local lab who will fabricate your new, natural-looking tooth. Come in to talk to us, and see if an implant is the right option for you!
Dentures and Partial Dentures
We are pleased to offer our patients with missing teeth the option of removable appliances. Removable appliances include partial dentures and complete dentures. Partial dentures are recommended when remaining teeth are in good shape and can serve to help support the partial denture. A partial denture is custom designed to your mouth to provide the most stable and long term restorative option. We prepare adjacent teeth as necessary to allow the partial to “snap” into place and provide security while eating. We also offer full dentures for our patients who are missing all of their teeth or have only a few teeth remaining that are in poor shape. Dentures restore a person’s smile and ability to eat. They also provide support to the cheeks and lips providing a more youthful appearance and helping with the ability to communicate effectively.
Implant Supported Denture
For our patients that need a complete denture but want more stability and retention implant supported overdentures are an excellent option. Implant supported overdentures “snap” onto the implants much like a trailer hitch and ball. This is especially helpful on a lower denture that tends to always want to move around. We normally recommend two implants that go into the lower jaw bone and then have a “ball” that sticks up from them. Your dentures are custom fabricated with “hitches” that allow them to snap into place on the implants. For many denture patients, an implant retained lower denture is a life changing procedure! It allows them to chew foods they haven’t been able to eat in years and gives them more confidence when speaking in public without fear of the lower denture “popping” up.