Prosthodontics is the specialist branch of dentistry that deals with the restoration and replacement of teeth for both functional and cosmetic purposes. In simple terms, this involves an evaluation of the existing occlusion (or bite), followed by an individual assessment of existing teeth and restorations.
What is a prosthodontist
Treatment usually involves the provision of improved restorations by way of crowns, bridges and veneers. A very important part of prosthodontics is the replacement of missing teeth with either fixed bridgework, implants or even removable dentures.
Crowns are porcelain caps or coverings that completely cover a tooth or teeth. Firstly, a tooth is ‘prepped’’ whereby it is reshaped to a smaller size. An impression is taken and sent to the laboratory where the crown is made. The precise shade of your adjacent tooth is determined and sent to the laboratory technician so the new crown exactly matches the colour of your natural teeth, thus giving a natural and aesthetic result.
It is subsequently fitted and cemented in place onto the tooth that was previously prepared. As they are made from porcelain, crowns give a great aesthetic and long lasting result. They can also be combined with whitening of your adjacent natural teeth to dramatically improve the appearance of a smile
A bridge is multiple crowns that a joined together to replace multiple missing teeth
Veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic (porcelain) or a composite resin material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. These veneers can be used to’straighten’ and ‘whiten’ the appearance of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia. Veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth and to improve a smile.
Veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size or shape. Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as internal teeth staining and damage due to an injury or as a result of a root-canal procedure.
They are ideal for masking discoloured fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed
Bleaching or tooth whitening is a technique that uses chemical whitening agents to brighten and whiten teeth. Over the years teeth can stain and discolor from the original shade.
Bleaching is usually done at home using specially fitted trays that can be filled with the appropriated whitening agent and seated onto the teeth. This technique is very convenient and usually takes 2-4 weeks to get the desired result.
The advantage of home whitening is the trays can be reused a later date to re whiten the teeth should they start to discolor again
Full mouth rehabilitation is as suggests a total reconstruction of your mouth. This is done when there a multiple problems in the mouth, such as missing teeth, weak teeth and an unaesthetic appearance of the remaining teeth. A typical full reconstruction may include the use of crowns, bridges, tooth whitening and dental implants to restore the dentition to full health and greatly improve the appearance of your smile.
Such cases are extremely complex and challenging, and require a multidisciplinary approach from dental experts. Our specialist prosthodontist, Dr Roise Kelly, is a expert is complex dental reconstruction, having undergone specialist training in the USA and successfully created beautiful and healthy smiles for 1000’s of patients