What is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the design and manufacture of dental prostheses, whose goal is to recover the correct functionality and appearance of the dentition that has been altered as a result of the loss of one or several teeth.
All dentists have the necessary training in the design and manufacture of these prostheses, as well as in the materials used for this purpose.
However, they always work with dental prosthetists (technicians who are responsible for the production of the prostheses following the dentist’s instructions); the dentist performs the curative treatment of the damaged tooth or teeth (extractions, endodontics, placement of implants, among others) and, once all the tissues have recovered, starts the process to reestablish both the appearance and correct function of the dentition by replacing the missing dental pieces.
Depending on each case, it can be done with bridges and implants (fixed prostheses) or with partial or total removable prostheses. Currently, prosthodontics also includes the placement of maxillofacial prostheses, which may be necessary in cases of congenital malformations; traumas that have caused significant damage or after a surgery to resect a part of the jaw affected by a tumor, for example.
Types of Prosthodontics
When referring to dental prosthetics, it includes veneers, crowns, bridges, porcelain teeth or other materials that are inserted into a previously installed implant, as well as dentures or removable prosthetics, whether partial or total.
How does Prosthodontics work?
Before a prosthodontic treatment, the dentist will take a mold of the bite and the area of the dentition that needs to be replaced. This mold will then be used by technicians to create a replica of the dentition which will be used to create the prosthesis so that it fits perfectly in the corresponding area of the arch and the opposite arch. The dentist will also provide the prosthesis with a color that is nearly identical to the replacement piece.
After placement, the dentist will define a follow-up and maintenance protocol for the prosthesis to ensure its functionality at all times and, if necessary, proceed with repairs or replacement.
Dental Prosthetics: All-on-Four
All-on-Four dental prosthetics are fixed prosthetics that, instead of being supported by natural teeth, are supported by dental implants that have been previously placed (titanium pieces that are inserted as an artificial root in your jaws and on which we will place the prosthetic). These prosthetics can range from a few teeth to the entire arch.
One of the biggest advantages of dental implants, unlike removable dentures, is that they are perfectly integrated into your body, as the materials they are made of are completely biocompatible. Dental implants can last a lifetime if you follow good hygiene habits and undergo regular periodic check-ups to check the state of the prosthetics over time. In patients who have lost all their teeth or require them to be completely extracted, the dental implant treatment indicates that between 4 and 6 implants can be placed, depending on the case, to restore function to the patient. These treatments are known as All-on-4 or All-on-6.