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Published on: August 15, 2014
Tooth replacements have obvious functional and practical benefits, but in the long run they can also prevent further loosening and eventual loss of other teeth.
Fixed replacements are fastened to the remaining teeth or to implants. They can be fixed by adhesive or screws. What is important is that they be immovable, so that you get the impression that you are chewing with your “own” teeth.
This include crowns, bridges, in various different materials.
A crown or cap fits on to an existing but imperfect tooth, First, the dentist grinds the tooth down slightly and then fixes the crown with special cement. If the dentist and dental technician have done their jobs well, you cannot tell a crown from your own teeth.
A post is what is used to repair a tooth which has broken for some reason, leaving only the root. Instead of extracting the root, a post is inserted as the base for attaching a crown. The preparation will also involve root canal treatment, if that has not already been done.
A bridge is a fixed “false tooth” that fills a gap of one, two, three or sometimes more missing teeth in a row. The bridge is supported by the teeth at each side of the gap, and these have to be slightly reshaped by grinding. As with crowns, there are several kinds of bridges, and different ways of reshaping teeth.
A replacement tooth on an implant is also fixed, but that is a different subject.
REMOVABLE REPLACEMENTS ( DENTURES)
If the remaining teeth are not suitable for a fixed replacement, or if somebody does not want who do not want anything removed from the teeth, then removable dentures are the solution. Full dentures are for people without any of their own teeth, and partial dentures fit among existing teeth.
Dentures can be made of various different materials – plastic, special mouth-tolerant metal, gold, etc. Full dentures are held in place by vacuum, depending on the anatomic features and skill of the wearer. For partial dentures, the dentist installs clips or hidden “anchors” to hold them in. Nowadays, partial dentures can be made so that not even the wearer’s family can notice that they have teeth that can be removed (and must be removed every evening, for cleaning).
So if the dentist-dental technician team have the right qualifications and experience, tooth replacements nowadays are almost miraculously imperceptible.