Cosmetic Functional Prosthodontics
Denture Dentistry Assumptions
Prosthetic teeth, commonly fabricated from a variety of today's new acrylic materials, have been a popular treatment choice for replacing teeth when the bulk of remaining teeth are worn or beyond repair in one or both jaws.
Most of us associate dentures with older adults that usually include grandparents and maybe parent figures (especially Dad). False teeth (we really don't like to call them that) are the most economical means of regaining lost dental function and recreating acceptable good looks that tend to wear away, little by little as we all age.
Collapsed bite, loss of vertical dimension, dramatic changes in occlusion, accumulation of tooth extractions are normal events for most people and, if left untreated too long, creates the infamous granny mouth we are all familiar with.
Not So Normal Events
Older adult populations (say, over 45 years of age) often develop varying degrees of gum disease (gingivitis) and sometimes Periodontitis (most advanced stage of disease) that can accelerate bone, soft tissue, connective tissue and actual tooth loss.
|Soda Pop Damage
Cosmetic Reconstructive Prosthodontics
Treated early enough, many older adults discover dentures can be a sensible and economical solution for replacing what is lost rapidly, assuming there are minimal complications.
Denture solutions for replacing or improving dental function and appearance in young men and women are customarily avoided by most dentists.
Since younger patient populations have a greater chance of having serviceable teeth, despite nearly any condition, a dentist will use whatever resources are available to help these patients save their existing teeth rather than encourage edentulation (total removal of any and all teeth in either or both jaws).
|Juvenile Arthritis - Multiple Root Canal Failures
Idiopathic Occlusal Pain
The prospect of considering denture treatments for a young patient is a significant hurdle that is not without emotional adjustment (regardless of any age, really).
The first pre-treatment photo is of a young 20 something lady who had rheumatoid arthritis during infancy. Medications and developmental growth complications caused dental issues that might be appropriate for a person twice her age.
The second pretreatment photo shows a classic case of what disrupted ph and demineralization processes can do to teeth. In this case, overconsumption of Doctor Pepper soft drinks created a severe acidic oral environment that overwhelmed the natural remineralization processes that we all have with normal oral health.
Typically conditions exist that are uncontrollable due to congenial factors, developmental abnormalities or a cumulative loss of either function or cosmetics caused by histories of poor oral health conditions (disturbed ph balance, diminishing mineralization, etc).
Cosmetics First - Function Second
Older adults tend to focus on function first.... cosmetics second. A very practical group, older denture wearers want everything to work normally and look pretty good at the same time.
Younger, prospective denture wearers tend to focus on Denture Cosmetics first. They want to look good as they feel.... perhaps even better since many new denture patients have wrestled with unrelenting dental problems.
|Great Looks - Great Feeling
Cosmetic Prosthodontic Teeth Replacement
Hardly any young person wants to give the appearance of wearing dentures. This unnecessary stigma also operates to prevent people from seeking treatment when they should.
Fabrication processes and the actual protocols followed by a dentist who has a creative talent for designing today's prosthetics has a resource pool that can meet nearly any cosmetic result desired.
Implant anchored, implant retained, palateless, diagnostic waxups combined with a training denture and final denture, in almost infinite combinations, now offer young adults to replace teeth that have the cosmetic and functional properties of more expensive porcelain restorations and custom bridgework.
Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD
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