Over the years, dentists have tried a variety of methods to replace missing teeth. They used both removable and fixed dentures. The later one also has many different types, ranging from bar-retained dentures, through classic bridges, to implant supported dentures. The last one is deemed to be the most modern procedure.
By reading this article, you can become familiar with the following topics:
- Bar retained dentures
- Dental bridges
- Zirconium is the material of the future
- Fixed implant supported dentures
- Complete fixed dentures
Fixed dentures have many benefits compared to the removable types. They are more stable, firm in their place. For this reason they make chewing and speaking more secure. This results in a better mood and quality of life for the one who has such teeth.
Bar retained dentures
In this case, which involves the usage of clips, dentists fix partial dentures. Partial dentures become necessary if some teeth are missing from the dental arch, thus a minor gap needs to be bridged. Such partial dentures have many benefits. Firstly, they restore the ability to chew. Secondly, they prevent the remaining teeth from moving towards the those parts of the jawbone where there is no tooth left. Furthermore, they improve the facial aesthetics of patients, especially in the case of the front teeth.
During the procedure the dentist places the false teeth on a metal bar, the two edge of which ends in clips. Then he fixes the clips on the remaining teeth. The advantage of this technique is that the denture is firmly fixed in the mouth, keeping the false teeth tightly in their place. Its disadvantage is that the clips are visible, which does not provide a really aesthetic sight. Another disadvantage is that the clips put a strain on the healthy teeth they are connected with and thus erode them.
Dental bridges are modern and widespread tools for making fixed dentures. They have many different types, ranging from bridges that use porcelain-metal crowns, to pressed ceramic bridges, and zirconia bridges.
When using this method, the specialist grinds the unhurt teeth on each side of the gap. This happens to an extent necessary to fix the bridges safely on the teeth. Each of the two units on the ends of the structure functioning as a bridge over the missing teeth is a crown, and these crowns are fitted on the ground tooth abutments. The false teeth, which serve as a replacement for the missing teeth, are fixed between the tooth abutments.
This method is perfect for bridging larger gaps by replacing more than one missing tooth at once. Its disadvantage is that the dentist must grind down the tooth abutments. This means the removal of a greater or smaller part from the material of entire unhurt teeth as a preparation for the procedure.
For bridging larger gaps metal bridge frameworks or extremely hard zirconia bridges are the best solution. The pressed ceramic (solely porcelain) bridges containing no metal are not suitable for such purposes, as they cannot withstand the bending force present.
There is also an intermediate solution for replacing two teeth at most. In this case the dentist does not need to grind the unhurt teeth holding the bridge, just makes a but a tiny niche in their surface. The two outer formulas at the ends of the bridge are fixed into these niches as dental inlays.
Zirconium is the material of the future
We must mention the bridges made from zirconium dioxide, as these are more and more prevalent products of modern dentistry. Zirconium dioxide is really strong material, even more solid than metal. It can especially withstand bending forces, which makes it absolutely suitable for bridging larger interdental gaps. Since it does not contain any metal or allergen, anybody can use it safely.
In addition, its aesthetic properties are significant. It is just as transparent as natural teeth. For this reason, bridges (teeth) made from this material are really similar to the natural dental arches. Its additional benefit is that it lets X-rays through. Thus, on the part of the tooth abutments, which is under the bridge, any problem can be recognized at a really early stage without removing the bridge.
Fixed implant supported dentures
Nowadays, implant-supported dentures are the most modern procedure. A great advantage of this technique is that it spares the unhurt teeth. The structure forming a bridge over the absence of teeth (the bridge) sits on the jawbone’s implants instead of on ground teeth. Just two well ossified false roots are enough to provide adequate stability to bridges of normal length.
If many or all of the teeth are missing, dentists use more than one implants to fix the bridges. This way, they can replace even entire lower or upper dental arches in the long run.
The slight disadvantage of this method is that it takes a long a time. Getting a fixed denture with the traditional way (the grinding of tooth abutments) usually only takes a few weeks. But the fixed implant supported denture can be placed after about half a year. This is the amount of time necessary for the supporting false root to heal and ossify. The patient has to bear a minor dental surgical procedure as well. The long-term advantages, however, amply compensate the patient for the inconveniences.
Complete fixed dentures
Implants may also grant a better quality of life to those who have removable complete dentures. In the completely edentulous mouth, the adhesive forces, the muscle tone, and the force of gravity hold the denture in its place. Even when combined, these forces cannot provide enough support for the process of chewing and speaking. However, two lower and four upper implants can provide great stability to the removable dentures. Chewing and speaking become more firm, the confidence of the individual increases.
Patients who can receive implants may also consider a replacement. This means that by having a bit more implants their complete removable dentures could be replaced with more convenient solutions of fixed bridges.