Esthetic/Cosmetic DentistryDental ImplantsCrowns/CapsVeneersBridgesDentures,
Removable Partial DenturesCleft Palate/Obturator

Esthetic/Cosmetic Dentistry

Many patients are interested in improving the appearance of their smile. Prosthodontists are the dental specialists who long ago determined what constitutes a pleasing smile. Teeth whitening, reshaping natural teeth, bonding of tooth-colored material to teeth and porcelain veneers are procedures commonly used to modify a smile.

Dental Implants

Today’s dental implants are typically made of titanium and may be parallel-sided or tapered and may or may not have threads. These fixtures are placed into the jawbone and allowed to heal until they are “integrated” into the bone. Dental implants may be used to replace one, many or all of a patient’s teeth.

The routine use of dental implants has revolutionized prosthodontics and the way missing teeth are replaced. Dental implants have become the standard of care for the replacement of teeth because dental implants allow a missing tooth (or teeth) to be restored to optimum function and appearance without invading or damaging any other teeth or tissues.

In the past a patient missing a single tooth would often receive a fixed bridge where the teeth on either side of the space are prepared for crowns and a false tooth suspended between them. With today’s technology the patient is ideally treated by a crown supported by a dental implant, avoiding any compromise to the other teeth. Dental implants are the ultimate solution for young people with congenitally missing teeth such as lateral incisors.

Dental implants can also replace multiple missing teeth which are traditionally replaced by a removable partial denture. Occasionally dental implants can act as anchors for a fixed bridge to replace the teeth making the removable partial denture obsolete. In some cases there are too many teeth missing to use a fixed bridge; however, using a dental implant with an attachment that snaps into the removable partial denture will significantly improve its stability and improve the patient’s chewing function.

Perhaps the best known use of dental implants is treating patients without any teeth. Denture wearers often suffer due to loose and “floating” dentures, and dental implants offer many benefits to patients without teeth. Stability of the dentures is improved with the use of even two dental implants with attachments, but greater satisfaction is achieved as the number of dental implants is increased. Depending on the number of dental implants utilized to replace the teeth a denture can be made that clips onto a bar supported by the dental implants or a fixed denture that remains in the mouth can be attached to the dental implants. Dental implants also can help preserve the patient’s jaw bone and retard the shrinking of the jaw that is routinely seen in long-term denture wearers.

Talk to us today about using dental implants to increase your confidence and improve your smile.

Crowns/Caps

Crowns cover or “cap” a tooth to restore the normal function and appearance of the tooth. Crowns may be made as all metal, porcelain fused to metal or all-ceramic (porcelain). Crowns are indicated for teeth with very large fillings, teeth that have had a root canal, fractured teeth and misshapen and/or discoloured teeth.

Veneers

Porcelain veneers are used to modify the shape and color of teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are etched and then bonded to the enamel of the teeth. Tooth preparation is necessary to avoid over bulking of the tooth, but it is limited to the enamel and usually involves only a few surfaces of the tooth.

Bridges

Traditional methods to replace a missing tooth or teeth include the fabrication of a bridge. To replace a missing tooth with a bridge, at least one tooth on either side of the space created by the missing tooth must be prepared for a crown. Then a false tooth is joined to the crowns, and the entire structure is cemented to the prepared teeth. The patient cannot remove the bridge, and special aids are available to keep it clean.

Dentures

When a patient no longer has any natural teeth, complete dentures are the traditional method to restore function and appearance. Many patients experience difficulty wearing conventional dentures because of poor stability and decreased chewing function. The use of dental implants to improve the stability and retention of dentures is becoming quite popular.

How to Properly Apply Denture Adhesive

Patients with ill-fitting dentures should seek the care of a prosthodontist or a dental specialist with three additional years of training beyond dental school who is an expert in fabricating dentures, among other esthetic and restorative procedures.

  • Dental professionals agree that the vast majority of dentures that fit well do not require the regular use of denture adhesive. It is important that a prosthodontist evaluate your dentures on a regular basis because your bone and gums may shrink over time, and your dentures will need to be remade or relined when they become too loose. You cannot correct the fit of your dentures by using more and more denture adhesive.

  • The excessive use of denture adhesives may not be healthy. Many common denture creams contain zinc. Use of too much denture adhesive that contains zinc may lead to “zinc toxicity.” Extreme zinc toxicity is associated with numbness or tingling in the patient’s arms, hands feet and legs. Other possible health concerns include blockage of the GI system and severe eye irritation. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should contact your physician immediately.

  • How much denture adhesive is too much? You should place enough adhesive to hold your dentures securely without extra cream that you might swallow. If you place the denture with adhesive in your mouth and you feel excess oozing out of the denture, you have used too much. See the illustrated guidelines below.

  • There are denture adhesives that do not contain zinc. Check with your prosthodontist and/or dentist for product recommendations and be sure to check the label for ingredients.

Proper Application of Denture Adhesive

  • For your upper denture, apply 3 or 4 dabs of denture cream, the size of a pencil eraser (Fig. 1), on the upper part of the denture that fits against the roof of your mouth (Fig. 2). DO NOT fill the denture with adhesive (Fig. 3). Using too much denture adhesive will not improve the fit of your denture or make them stay in place any better.

burlington restorative dentistry dentists prosthodontists restorations proper application of denture adhesive

  • For your lower denture, distribute 3 or 4 dabs the size of a pencil eraser evenly around the inside area of your lower denture (Fig. 4). DO NOT fill portions of the denture with adhesive (Fig. 5).

burlington restorative dentistry dentists prosthodontists correct way to apply denture adhesive

  • Even well-fitting dentures should be removed at night. Dentures that require adhesive use should never be worn overnight with denture adhesive in use. The mouth tissues must be allowed to rest and nighttime denture wear may result in tissue irritation and inflammation.

  • Please keep in mind that once your teeth are removed, the changes to your jawbones are constant and ongoing. The fit of your dentures will change with time, and they will need to be relined and/or remade periodically to accommodate these changes.

  • The lifespan of a set of complete dentures with continuous use is approximately 5 years. After 5 years, the changes in bone structure or the wearing away of the materials in the denture usually results in the need for new dentures or relining them for a more comfortable fit.

  • If your dentures are not fitting properly, and you are using too much denture cream, you should seek the care of a prosthodontist to determine if your dentures can be made to fit better.

Removable Partial Dentures

When there are multiple missing teeth, weak anchor teeth or no posterior teeth to anchor on, a removable partial denture is used to replace teeth. These restorations typically are made of a metal framework and a plastic base with teeth. They must be removed for daily cleaning and at night.

Cleft Palate/Obturator

Many cleft lip and palate patients exhibit missing teeth in the area of the cleft and would benefit from a prosthodontist’s care in the management of these areas. Although most cleft palates are now successfully closed surgically, there are patients who require an obturator to close the palatal defect, whether it is congenital or acquired. A prosthodontist possesses the skills necessary to fabricate an obturator that will improve the patient’s speech and swallowing.