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Fixed Dental Prostheses: The Comprehensive Guide to Replacing Missing Teeth

Are you missing teeth and searching for the best replacement solution? Consider opting for fixed dental prostheses, which offer a reliable and permanent way to restore your smile.

This article will delve into the primary features of fixed dental prostheses, the materials used in their construction, and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

What Are Fixed Dental Prostheses?

Fixed dental prostheses are artificial replacements for missing or damaged teeth. They are termed “fixed” because they are permanently attached, either to natural teeth or to artificial roots, and cannot be removed by the patient.

Types of Fixed Dental Prostheses

There are several types of fixed dental prostheses, including:

– Individual Dental Capsules (Crowns)
– Dental Bridges
– Prostheses Anchored on Dental Implants

Individual Dental Capsules: If the external surface of a tooth is irreparably damaged by decay or trauma, a dental capsule, or crown, can be used to rebuild or reinforce it.

Dental Bridges: For a dental bridge, the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth act as supports. These neighboring teeth, called abutments, are filed down to make space for anchoring crowns that will hold the bridge in place. This approach is suitable when one or more teeth are missing in a row.

Prostheses Anchored on Dental Implants: Fixed dental prostheses can also be attached to dental implants. A dental implant consists of a titanium post inserted into the jawbone, acting as an artificial root. After the implant is placed, a period of 3 to 6 months is needed for osseointegration, during which the bone integrates with the implant.

Once osseointegration is complete, a fixed dental prosthesis, such as a crown or bridge, is installed on the implant. If only one tooth is missing, a single crown is placed on the implant. For multiple missing teeth in a row, a bridge can be anchored on two or more implants.

The Materials

Freesmile recommends using zirconium-porcelain for fixed dental prostheses due to its superior qualities. Zirconium is used for the inner layer, while porcelain forms the outer layer.

Why Zirconium-Porcelain?

– Durability: Zirconium is more robust than traditional metal alloys.
– Aesthetic Appeal: The translucency of zirconium gives the prosthesis a natural look, closely resembling real teeth.
– Biocompatibility: Both zirconium and porcelain are highly biocompatible, reducing the risk of adverse reactions.

Zirconium-porcelain prostheses avoid the black edges seen in metal-based crowns, making them indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Fixed dental prostheses offer numerous benefits, alongside a few drawbacks that should be considered.

Advantages

Dental Bridges:
– Biocompatibility: Zirconium and porcelain are well-tolerated by the body.
– Aesthetic Excellence: The materials mimic natural teeth in appearance.
– Durability: These bridges are long-lasting and can withstand daily use.

Dental Implants:
– Osseointegration: The process allows the bone to bond with the titanium implant, providing a stable foundation.
– Preservation of Adjacent Teeth: Unlike bridges, implants do not require the neighboring teeth to be altered.
– Permanent Solution: Implants offer a long-term replacement for missing teeth.

Disadvantages

Dental Bridges:
– Alteration of Adjacent Teeth: The primary drawback is that the adjacent teeth must be filed down to support the bridge.

Dental Implants:
– Surgical Procedure: Implant placement requires surgery, which involves a recovery period.
– Cost: Implants can be more expensive than other types of dental prostheses.

Fixed dental prostheses provide a robust, aesthetic, and functional solution for missing teeth. Whether opting for individual crowns, bridges, or implants, these prostheses restore not only the function but also the appearance of natural teeth. By understanding the types, materials, and benefits of fixed dental prostheses, patients can make informed decisions about their dental health. For those looking to achieve a permanent and aesthetically pleasing solution, consulting with a dental professional about fixed dental prostheses is highly recommended.
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