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Preventive Dental Interventions Reduce Disease Burden and Save Money

Prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.

Services provided by prosthodontist may include:
Complete Dentures: A total loss of teeth may present some very special problems. Some of the more frequent problems are:

  • Extreme loss of the underlying bone.
  • Loss of facial tissue support.
  • Inability to chew food properly
  • Pain or dysfunction of the jaws or joints.
  • Difficulty in adapting psychologically to artificial teeth.
  • Difficulties in getting artificial teeth to fit or function comfortably.

Removable and Fixed Partial Dentures:

The partial loss of teeth may be treated by fixed restorations (bridges) which are cemented to remaining teeth; or by fabrication of partial dentures that are readily removable. The decision as to which is preferred or necessary is dependent on several important factors that must be carefully examined. Several such factors are:

  • Bone support of remaining teeth.
  • Condition of the remaining teeth.
  • Inability to chew food properly
  • The way in which the teeth function.
  • The overall general health of the patient.

Cosmetic Restorations:

Certain patients may desire or require special crowns (jackets or caps) on teeth to create aesthetic improvement. Restoration by this method can solve unsightly problems of chemical or drug stains, fractured teeth, crooked teeth or teeth with spaces.

Pain or Dysfunction:

Problems of occlusion or function of the teeth may lead to severe joint pains or contribute to more generalized pain or functional problems. The prosthodontist's special training places emphasis on occlusion and masticatory function. The prosthodontist is frequently the key person in making accurate diagnoses or in designing treatment plans.

Congenital Deformities:

The most frequent congenital dental deformity is a cleft (fissure) of the palate, lip, or toothbearing ridge. An understanding of speech, growth and development and advanced restorative dentistry is essential in rendering appropriate care.

Acquired Defects:

These may be of a surgical nature, classic in this area are defects resulting from radiation, chemotherapy or surgical procedures to arrest malignant disease. Present-day diagnostic skills combined with aggressive treatment by physicians, can give promise of extended life. Attention given to the prevention as well as rehabilitation of acquired oral/facial defects by dentists skilled in creating prosthetic restorations (i.e.: obturator, speech devices, cheek, eye, ear, and nose) can likewise give promise of restored speech, function, dignity and social fulfillment.