What is a Dental Prosthesis?
The words “Dental Prosthesis” refer to all those dental devices that restore the functions of the mouth of a patient suffering from partial or total edentulism.
A dental prosthesis is made in a dental laboratory on the prescription of the dentist, and must comply with specific health standards.
Depending on its characteristics, the dental prosthesis is characterized as a fixed prosthesis or mobile prosthesis (and therefore removable independently by the patient).
Fixed Dental Prosthetics
The fixed dental prosthesis, according to the patient’s needs, can be positioned on dental elements by restoring the missing part of the element, or it can be positioned on an implant replacing the entire dental element.
There are different types of fixed dental prostheses:
Dental crown – It is a prosthesis that serves to restore the shape, function and appearance of a damaged or missing tooth.
The dental crown can be used to cover a damaged tooth or in combination with a dental implant. In the first case, the damaged tooth is prepared for therapy and the prosthetic crown is cemented on it.
In the second case, after the implant is positioned with the endosseous screw, the dental crown is fixed on it.
Dental bridge – It is a prosthesis that serves to restore one or more missing dental elements through the use of several adjacent prosthetic teeth. The dental bridge is configured as a prosthetic structure formed by a component that allows it to be fixed (pillar or crown) and by the dental elements that replace the missing teeth (intermediate element).
The abutment can be single or double based on clinical needs, and it is positioned on the sides of the missing teeth.
The intermediate element can be composed of a single prosthetic crown or of multiple prosthetic crowns, based on the number of teeth to be replaced.
Thus, the dental bridge is anchored with its ends to the existing teeth, and its intermediate elements restore the missing teeth.
Mobile Dental Prosthetics
Removable dental prosthesis is an alternative solution to cases of edentulism: when it is not possible to
carry out therapies with fixed prostheses for clinical or economic reasons, it is possible to proceed with the
creation of removable prostheses.
The main feature of mobile prostheses is that they can be put on and removed independently by the patient. There are two broad categories of removable dental prostheses:
Partial Mobile Prosthesis – Prosthesis that rehabilitates a small dental area suffering from edentulism.
The partial removable prosthesis is anchored by means of hooks to the residual natural teeth, replacing the
space left empty by the missing teeth.
Total Mobile Prosthetics – Prosthetics that fully rehabilitates an edentulous dental arch.
Total removable dentures rest on the gum mucosa to replace natural teeth in the arch.