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You have to replace missing teeth and you are looking for the solution that is best for you? In this case, you could choose to have a fixed dental prosthesis installed.

The following article describes the main characteristics of fixed dental prostheses, the materials with which they are made, the advantages and disadvantages …


What are fixed dental prostheses?

Fixed dental prostheses are used to replace missing or damaged teeth. They are referred to as fixed because they are installed on a permanent basis, meaning that they cannot be removed by the patient, being bonded to the natural teeth or to artificial roots.

There are different types of dental prostheses:

• individual dental capsules;

• dental bridges;

• prostheses anchored on dental implants.

If the outside surface of a tooth has been damaged beyond repair by tooth decay or other types of trauma, then the tooth can be rebuilt or reinforced using a dental capsule.

In the case of a dental bridge, the two teeth neighbouring the one to be replaced with a capsule must be used as supports. These neighbouring teeth, referred to as abutments, must be filed to create enough space for the anchoring crowns, which are attached to the capsule, to be installed on top of them.

Fixed dental prostheses can also be installed on dental implants.

A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium and installed directly on the maxillary or mandibular bone. Once the implant has been inserted, a period of from 3 to 6 months must pass, in order to allow the implant to integrate with the bone through what is referred to as osseointegration.
After which the fixed dental prostheses, meaning the dental capsule placed on the implants, are installed (delayed versus immediate loading of implants: survivor analysis and risk factors for dental implant failure, Susarla SM, Chuang SK, Dodson TB, J. Oral Maxillofac Surg., 2008, Feb. 66(2):251-5).

If individual teeth are missing, then one capsule will be installed on each implant, whereas if a number of teeth are missing in a row, then a dental bridges can be installed, with each resting on two or more implants.


The materials

Freesmile believes that the best materials for making fixed dental prostheses is zirconium-porcelain: zirconium for the inner layer and porcelain for the outer one.

These materials guarantee that the prosthesis remains solid and durable, while, at the same time, they provide an appearance very similar to that of the natural tooth, thanks to the translucence of zirconium. Furthermore, zirconium and porcelain are some of the most biocompatible materials available.

Zirconium is harder than the traditional metal alloys, and capsules made from zirconium and porcelain do not have black edges, making it difficult to tell them apart from natural teeth.
Advantages and disadvantages

Fixed dental prostheses offer a number of advantages.

In the case of a dental bridge made from zirconium and porcelain, the advantages are biocompatibility, excellent appearance and durability. The only drawback is the fact that the teeth neighbouring the missing tooth have to be filed in order for the bridge to be installed.

The advantages of dental implants are even more impressive, seeing that the process of osseointegration allows the bone to surround the artificial root, meaning can be replaced permanently with dental implantology, and without having to disturb the teeth next to the missing tooth, as is necessary in the case of dental bridges.

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