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Dental Prosthetics: What, Why, and How?

A complete smile can make or break your confidence. So, if you have a less than perfect smile, dental prosthetics may be an option for you. However, with the world becoming a more health-conscious place, do you know how the dental prosthetics that you are putting in your mouth are made? What are they made of? Are they safe to be in your mouth? Whether you are getting a crown, implant, or dentures, the more you know about your dental prosthetics, the more confident you can feel going into the procedure.

What Are Dental Prosthetics?

Similar to any other prosthetic device, dental prosthetics are a custom-fitted product made to fit your specific missing or broken tooth/teeth. There are two basic types of dental prosthetics: fixed and mobile or removable prosthetics. Some examples of fixed dental prosthetics are bridges, inlays, crowns, and veneers. These prosthetics are permanent, and cannot be regularly removed. Some examples of mobile dental prosthetics are partial and complete dentures. All dental prosthetics are approved and installed by your dentist or a periodontist and fit perfectly to your teeth.

Why Would I Need Them?

There are many reasons why a patient may need dental prosthetics. Patients who are missing a tooth or teeth in their mouth can have dental prosthetics installed to boost their confidence, rebuild their smile, replace the missing tooth or teeth, and give them back the ability to eat, chew, and speak. A smile can be a huge part of a person’s confidence, so having a complete smile may be exactly what they need to feel better about themselves while also solving their dental needs.

The Process

Step One: Molds and Images

Once your dentist professional approves you for a dental prosthetic, they will need to take a mold of your current teeth. Using a putty-type product within an upper and lower tray, an impression of your upper and lower teeth is made. The dentist will also take x-rays and possibly 3D scanners to take pictures of your mouth and jaw structure. All of these pictures and molds will be used to recreate the exact shape of your mouth and jaw, allowing the dental prosthetics to fit perfectly to your teeth.

Step Two: Making the Prosthetic

The mold is then taken into a lab where the prosthetic is made. Using this mold and copies of your dental x-rays and paperwork, the lab technicians are able to recreate the shape of your teeth. These labs can use a variety of materials to form the prosthetics. Some of the best materials used for dental prosthetics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Titanium/Titanium Alloys
  • Zirconium
  • Ceramic

Step Three: Testing the Prosthetic

Once your dental prosthetic is ready from the lab, which can take between 2-3 weeks, they are sent back to your dental office for you to try on. For prosthetics like crowns and veneers, you usually do not need to adjust these. However, if you were fitted for dentures or bridges, the design may need to be adjusted based on the initial fit.

Step Four: Final Fitting

If your prosthetic was sent back for changes, your dental office will have the changes made in the lab, then have the prosthetic sent back as soon as possible. If you and the dentist are pleased with the fit, then you have your brand new, perfectly fitting smile!

The days of living with broken, missing, or unsightly teeth are over! Dental prosthetics are not only safe, but they can bring back your smile in a way you may not have thought possible. Every step of the way, your dental team will take care of your every need. From explaining each step, making the molds, fitting your prosthetics, and following up, you can rest assured knowing that your smile and happiness are their priority. If you have any questions about the dental prosthetic options available to you, contact the professionals at Maestri Family Dentistry!

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