Prosthodontics is the area of dentistry devoted to restoring teeth which are broken down or missing, causing problems in both the function (bite) and appearance of the teeth. Common restorations are crowns and/or bridges and dentures. Dental Implants are often used in prosthodontics to replace missing roots, which aid in anchoring crowns, bridges, and dentures.
Dental crowns fit over your natural teeth after the tooth has been shaped to accept the crown. You may need a crown or crowns for the following reasons:
- cracked tooth
- Large cavity
- After root canal therapy
- Failing existing crown
- Worn fillings
When fillings begin to break down, they are no longer serving their original purpose and it is often a good idea to make a crown. A crown will provide protection for a damaged tooth.
A bridge is a replacement for a missing tooth and is attached to the adjacent teeth. A bridge can help you avoid dental problems which often occur when a tooth is lost. These problems may include but are not limited to:
- The tooth opposite the missing one may extrude from its socket. This is called super-eruption.
- The missing tooth can make it difficult to chew.
- As the bite shifts, problems may result in TMJ (temporomandibular joint disfunction.)
- As the teeth shift, it makes them more difficult to clean, which can lead to periodontal disease.
If many of your teeth are loose, missing, or painful, it may be difficult or impossible to save them. Advanced periodontal disease usually causes these conditions. If not caught and treated in time, periodontal disease and the resulting bone loss will often cause tooth loss. Replacing missing teeth with dentures may be the best way to get rid of the infection and allow your mouth to return to a healthy state.