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Root Canal Treatment
Teeth Cleaning Procedure
Teeth Whitening Procedure
Root Canal Treatment
Management of Dental Hygiene
Chronic Skin Allergy Treatment
Tooth Extraction Procedure
Dental Extractions Procedure
Skin Rash Treatment
Gap Closing (Dental) Treatment
Artificial Teeth Treatment
Treatment of Root Canal Treatment (RCT)
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
Teeth Scaling & Polishing
Braces Treatment for Adults and Teens
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Tooth loss is a challenge for both the patient and the dentist. Patient has to deal with reduced chewing efficiency and altered appearance. The dentist, on the contrary, is faced with restoring the lost tooth to the maximum natural extent possible, functionally and structurally.
The fixed dentures came close with their ability to providing fixed teeth that were stable and aesthetically appealing. However, there was one big disadvantage, the adjacent teeth that were being used as abutment were reduced in size and therefore strength though they could be perfectly normal teeth.
In an effort to avoid this, the dental community started looking at options, the result of which was implant. Not just replacing the crown part of the tooth, even the root portion of the tooth is replaced here.
A biocompatible material, titanium, is put into the tooth to serve as the root. Titanium is strong, light, biocompatible (does not cause autoimmune reactions in the surrounding tissues) and most importantly osseointegrated (fuses to the surrounding bone). Once placed as the root, it gets absorbed into the bone after a period of about 2 to 6 months. Then, a crown or a denture is literally built on this root to simulate the natural appearance as close as possible. This provides not just the complete natural tooth structure but also provides support to the surrounding tissues like the gums and the cheeks.
Implant dentistry is a perfect example of teamwork including surgeons to operate and place the bone, prosthodontists to do the crown or the bridge, a periodontist to manage the gums health, and a lab technician who can do the finest job on the crowns or the bridges.
Types of implants:
- Three common types include: Single tooth replacement: In cases where a single tooth is lost, the implant would be one root that is allowed to fuse to the bone and then a crown is placed over it.
- Fixed multiple teeth replacements: If more than one tooth is lost, then bridges are fabricated by placing one or more implants and then custom-made crowns are placed over these implants.
- Removable implant supported complete denture: If all the lower teeth are missing, implants could be placed at pre-identified locations and then a complete denture fabricated over it. This is commonly done in lower jaws as stability is always a cause for concern.
The success of the implant requires good bone health. The most common contraindications would be patients with chronic diseases like poorly controlled diabetes, cancer in the line of jaws, chronic smoking, or poor periodontal health.
However, if managed well, even these patients can have implants after a detailed assessment by the dental team.
Cosmetic dentistry primarily involves improving a person's smile and facial appearance. It could involve the teeth, gums, cheeks, lips, or the bite of the patient. Accordingly, a change can be produced in the color, position, size or shape of the teeth, alignment of the teeth, contouring of the smile, etc. The end result is always a better facial appearance and improved confidence level of the patient.
Some common examples of cosmetic dentistry include:
- Teeth whitening: There are very few people who are happy with the color of their teeth. Everybody wants whiter teeth and therefore go for options like bleaching. This can be done either in the dental office or done at home. A word of caution though - go for teeth whitening only after the consultation with a dentist.
- Veneers, crowns: Just as the color of the teeth, the shape of the teeth also leaves a lot to be desired for almost everybody. Veneers are applied on the teeth after removing a thin layer of tooth structure. Minor reshaping and contouring of the tooth can also be done, especially to improve appearance in the front teeth.
- Tooth contouring/shaping: The edges of the teeth can be smoothened by mere shaping or contouring. There is no extra material that is added to the tooth here. In some cases, a thin layer of resin may be bonded to the tooth if required.
- Bridges: In cases the adjacent teeth shape, size, or color mismatch, then bridges can be done to even out the difference and produce a more corrected appearance.
- Braces: Braces are a big hit as they help correct misaligned teeth. However, the next step with invisible braces and ceramic braces is another step towards moving away from the traditional metal braces, which itself was not cosmetically received.
- Onlays and Inlays: Improper tooth shapes can be corrected with parts of the teeth that either replace only a small decayed portion or the entire crown portion to produce a more pleasing effect.
- Implants: Though fixed bridges do a very good job at replacing lost teeth, implants go to the next level in terms of the aesthetic replacement.
- Gingivoplasty: In cases where the gums have black spots, are too short, or are too long, the gums can be shaped to provide a better teeth visibility. The gums can also be sculpted to produce a more appealing gum line that shows off the teeth to give a more harmonious smile.
- Bite correction: In addition to braces, in some cases, bite correction may be required to smoothen out a sharp cusp or reduce the prominence of the canine.
With a number of corrections possible, cosmetic dentistry is here to stay - just as the drive to look good.