The speciality of a prosthodontist focuses on the replacement and aesthetic restoration of teeth. Specialists in prosthodontics are trained to manage lots of clinical situations; including:
- Dentures – these may be complete (replacing all teeth) or partial (replacing some teeth).
- Tooth wear – increasingly common is toothwear and prosthodontists help manage this
- Bridges – replacing multiple lost teeth
- Implants – prosthodontists will generally “restore” implants – i.e. by placing the crowns or dentures on top of the implant
Being Referred to a Prosthodontist
You should expect to have several appointments with your specialist – it is often complex care and there may well be several stages to plan your treatment before it begins. Its important that if teeth are being used for crowns or bridges that they are healthy and not infected.
Care of dentures
Keeping your dentures clean is essential to keeping your mouth healthy, and, if you wear partial dentures, keeping the rest of your teeth clean is key to ensuring that your dentures will serve you over a longer time period. There are a range of ways of cleaning your dentures including tablets, creams and even ultra-sonic cleaners! Always clean your dentures over a washbasin that is half filled with water – this will prevent breakages!
Care of crowns and bridges
Complex restorative work needs to be looked after well – this includes twice daily brushing, but also removal of dental plaque between, and underneath restorations. We recommend using SuperFloss to do this – its specially designed to clean under and around bridges and crowns, and, for between teeth we recommend TePe brushes – dental practices will usually have a range in stock.
Care of Implants
Implants are just like teeth – they can loose attachment to the bone if they are not carefully cleaned. Again there are a range of products to help you keep your implants clean – speak with your prosthodontist or dentist about what the best is for you to use. Its a mistake to think that, as they are made from metal, that they are indestructible!
All specialists in prosthodontics are registered with the GDC – and will have typically undertaken three years of specialist training and then sat an exam called the MRD – this is run by Royal Colleges. Dentists have to undertake continuing education and ensure that they are up to date.
Denture – a prosthesis replacing all or some of the natural teeth
Implant – usually a titanium “peg” placed into bone which can be used to replace one or more missing teeth or support a denture
Crown – a restoration that covers the entire tooth, may be made from porcelain, precious metals or a combination of the these
Bridge – a restoration that, by using a crown or crowns, replaces one or more missing teeth
Acid etch bridge – a simple restoration that uses a metal “wing” to attach to one tooth, to, typically, replace an adjacent tooth