Fixed & Removable Dentures

Fixed Appliances- Crown and Bridge
Bridges are a fixed alternative to missing tooth/teeth, i.e. the bridge is fixed or cemented to the teeth and therefore cannot be removed or taken off.

A bridge, as the name implies, is constructed using the neighboring teeth as support by placing crowns on these teeth and with this help a crown replacing the missing tooth or teeth is replaced. Preparation of neighboring teeth for crown placement and if necessary root canal treatment of these teeth is performed. Bridges have the advantage of being a fixed option and hence the inconvenience of removing them at night or the risk of loosing them (like dentures) is totally avoidable. It can be preferred over other treatment options because of minimum appointment time required for its preparation and it being a permanent treatment option.

Though hygiene maintenance is an essential requirement in the prognosis of such appliance, they always have an upper hand over dentures.


Types of crowns for bridges - there are many types of crowns used for bridges depending on the type of material used in its construction, and according to the patient’s financial needs:

  • Metal crowns- the complete bridge is constructed of metal. It is cost effective but generally not recommended because of esthetics.
  • Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns-in these crowns the base is a metal with porcelain covering with is matched with the correct shade of the natural teeth. Recommended for the back teeth.
  • Alumina, zirconium crowns- these crowns are preferred for the front teeth since they are metal free, hence superior esthetics, and higher strength.
  • Zirconium (LAVA brand name from 3M) crowns- these are crowns with esthetics and strength of the highest order . They are constructed using CAD/CAM technology hence proving to be the best crowns in the dental market today. Apart from this, the patient gets an authentification card with a unique code which he can keep for his records for future reference.

Removable Appliances- Dentures
Dentures are another option to replacement of missing teeth where a plate or denture is constructed with artificial teeth. This denture then fits in the mouth taking support on neighboring teeth using metal clasps.

Dentures are considered in cases where the neighboring teeth are not strong enough to support a bridge or in some people where oral hygiene is poorly maintained and can decorate with the construction of a bridge. Dentures though have advantage of being more cleanable and being easier on the pocket as compared to the fixed options, they have the disadvantage of becoming loose with time, not to forget compromised esthetics. Fixed bridges always hold an upper hand as compared to removable dentures, provided the neighboring teeth provide a good support.

Implants
This is the latest and the most successful treatment option in replacement of missing teeth. In this procedure, a titanium surface treated screw is placed in the jaw which stimulates bone formation with time and hence plays the part of a root of a natural tooth. A crown is then placed over the implant and now this implant will function as a normal tooth in the mouth. Though bone support is a prime requisite in implant success and its prognosis, it places itself way above bridges and dentures in replacement of missing teeth. Unlike bridges, where natural tooth structure is removed from neighboring teeth to place a crown, implant placement does not require such procedure. It’s highly esthetic, conservative treatment with minimal tooth damage shadows its treatment costs.
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