Dentures (Artificial Teeth)
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic and sometimes porcelain and metal materials. A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. Also known as ‘false teeth’ it can be complete where all teeth have been lost or partial in which case some teeth are missing.
An alternative to traditional dentures is Valplast, a flexible, nylon thermoplastic that is thinner and more translucent. It requires minimal preparation, it’s easy to insert and has long term strength. Patients love Valplast for its metal-free comfort and natural appearance. It is also more durable than acrylic and will not stain or absorb odour.
Crowning or capping is one of the most advanced forms of treatment carried out to save a patient’s tooth/teeth.These are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size and strength and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
There are several types of crowns, however the permanent crowns can be made of stainless steel, all metal such as gold or another alloy, or porcelain fused to metal or all plastic, or all ceramic/ porcelain crowns.
The crown of choice will depend on a number of factors, including the location of the tooth or teeth being crowned, the type and severity of the discolouration, and overall health of the surrounding gums.
This is usually a two visit appointment. The tooth/teeth are first reduced in size, then measurements are taken of the prepared tooth sent to the laboratory for fabrication, meanwhile a temporary crown is prepared chair side to cover and protect the prepared tooth/teeth.
- Large decay where more than 2 caps have been broken down on molars or where half of the crown of the tooth is lost fractured
- Large old fillings, cracked teeth, fractured teeth
- Sensitive teeth from a lot of wear or tear from enamel erosion
- Root canal therapy
- Fractured teeth
- Severally stained/ discoloured teeth
- Cosmetic modification
- Lengthen short clinical crowns
- To cover a misshaped teeth
- To cover a dental implant
In children, a crown (usually stainless steel) may be used to:
- Save a tooth that has been damaged by decay that can’t support a filling
- Protect teeth alive to high risk of decay; and difficulty in maintaining good oral hygiene
- Special needs children with severe grinding habits
- Are caps or crowns joined together to bridge the gap created by one missing teeth
- A bridge is fabricated by reducing teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth by a preparation pattern determined by the location of the teeth and by the material from which the bridge is fabricated
- When a tooth is missing due to loss or extraction or was never present from birth, other teeth usually shift into the space within a few years. This change in position can cause a variety of bite and gum problems that can be expensive and time consuming to correct. It is wise, therefore to replace missing teeth as quickly as possible. One way to do so is with fixed bridges.
Fixed bridges are typically made of porcelain only or bonded to a precious or non precious metal when additional strength is required.
Preparation is similar to crown, only that more than one tooth is prepared. In two visits the permanent bridge is cemented. The bridge will:
- Restore smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of face
- Distribute the biting forces properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Missing tooth or teeth from birth or following extraction or trauma.
- Over implant
- Cracked tooth