Dental prosthesis – everything you need to know

Dental prostheses have long been available for patients of all ages. They provide an affordable alternative to dental implants. As with nearly all prosthetic dental prostheses, a dental prosthesis can fulfil both the aesthetic and functional replacement of healthy teeth, both temporarily and in the long term. Unfortunately, it is not a full substitute for missing teeth, as with dental implants. Dental clinics now focus more than ever on preserving the original teeth. For this reason, even only part of the missing teeth can now be fixed with a prosthesis, and the rest need not be extracted.

Not only do dental prostheses fulfil an aesthetic role, but also fulfil the limited functionality of making patients feel more confident.

Dental prosthesis and its history

The dental prosthesis date back to Ancient Egypt, when they were made with two wire-bound teeth and other 'inventions'. Over time, dental substitutes were discovered, consisting of ivory and glass, as well as precious metals and gems. They were used by the Egyptians, as well as by the Chinese and Indians.

The methods that have made dental prostheses more sophisticated, comfortable and, above all, more reliable have progressed over time. Removable prostheses are currently made from special mixtures of resin or ceramics, which are specially ground into precise shapes to best fit a patient's gums. Of course, these materials must be biocompatible and completely safe. For more details on past and present dental restorations, see the article on dental bridges.

Dental-technical materials must meet health and safety, as well as strength requirements, while providing sufficient support in chewing, and support of the phonetic functions and aesthetics.

Quality dental prosthesis

Quality dental prostheses are now characterised by a number of prerequisite conditions, including high quality dental-technical materials and manufacturing methods. Dental prostheses must be both safe and functional.

When preparing a dental prosthesis, care must be taken that it will not damage the oral cavity tissue. The correct fixation and adhesion of the dental prosthesis is ensured by a vacuum created by the dental prosthesis itself. This depends on the correct shape of the product. The shape of the teeth, their colour, height and the position of the bite of the teeth must all be taken into account to maintain the aesthetics and proper functioning of the dental prosthesis.

Sometimes, the application of a complete prosthesis may be inappropriate. This is especially the case when a patient's jaw is anatomically unsatisfactory and thus impinges on the limits of the production capabilities of the dental prosthesis. This happens most often with a too thin or low alveolar bone. During the initial consultation, the attending dentist will determine the treatment plan, which results in the selection of the correct prosthetic solution for a patient.

At the Schill Dental Clinic, we work with dental laboratories that use the most advanced techniques and materials. Thanks to this, we can produce a denture that meets functionality and higher aesthetic standards.

Dental prosthesis types

  • Fixed dentures - these cannot be removed and are firmly attached to the patient's healthy teeth. Most often, they form a dental crown spacer, replace a missing tooth and, depending on the extent of the defect, can be a dental bridge or a crown replacement of a tooth or teeth.
  • Removable dentures - these can be removed repeatedly. Thanks to the prosthesis bed on which the restoration is anchored, it replaces missing teeth both aesthetically and functionally. They are made in a dental laboratory, and the functionality and aesthetic aspects are usually less than those of fixed dentures.

Fixed dentures are divided according to the number of teeth to be replaced:

  • Crown Dental Replacements - these are directly attached to the dental tissue as a result of tooth damage; for example, tooth decay. The crown restorations are firmly attached to the hard fibres of the tooth, so the time to become accustomed to it is shorter.
  • Dental bridges - a fixed replacement for one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges are preceded by the abrasion of the load bearing teeth, or the ‘preparation’. They can also be anchored on implants, and such a solution is now standard. You can read more in our article about dental bridges.
  • Dental implants - the implant is a permanent replacement of the missing root. The implant can fully replace individual teeth, groups of teeth or even the complete dentition. You can read more about the procedures, options, prices and durability of this type of dental replacement in our article on dental implants.

Removable dentures are divided according to the number of teeth to be replaced:

  • Totally removable dentures - designed for jaws without teeth. They are comprised of artificial teeth and the ‘base’, which covers the alveolar process of the jaw.
  • Partial dental restorations - a removable, complete dental arch without the need to grind the teeth to prepare for its application. It uses the natural teeth as a support element for the stability of the dentures.

Fixed dental prosthesis

A fixed dental prosthesis cannot be removed. It is firmly attached to the patient's existing teeth or implants, and complement by the dental crown or a part thereof. A dental bridge can also be applied that complements one or more missing teeth. Dental crowns and dental bridges enable the restoration of the aesthetic, chewing and articulatory functions of the teeth.  Another advantage of fixed dentures is that patients soon get used to them. Even after a relatively short time, the patient can pronounce vowels without phonological defects such as slurring. Fixed dental prosthetics are not removed even during the night, and practically function as a full-value substitute for the missing tooth.

Dental prosthesis prices

The cost of a dental prosthesis depends primarily on the extent and type of the denture that is used. There is a difference between costing a dental crown and a removable dental prosthesis that replaces all the teeth in the jaw. To give you an idea of the prices, we give the approximate price range for individual dentures.

The price of a fixed dental restoration as a dental crown ranges from approximately EUR 200 to EUR 350; and a complete removable dentures starts from EUR 440. For more information on the prices of dental prostheses, see the price list.

Denture adhesives

A denture adhesive is a preparation that enhances the adhesion of an alternative dentition. Patients' preferences differ, as is reflected in the fixed dental prosthesis market.

Fixing cream or adhesive powder?

The powder for the fixing of removable dentures is designed for patients whose teeth have thin saliva or mild oral problems.

The fixing cream has an advantage in various designs, whose task can be long-term fixation and fresh breath.

Fixing pads are a great help for problems with natural, slight and jaw deformations caused by physiological changes. Fixing pads are used for the upper jaw and are placed on the patient's palate. Due to their position, they effectively fill the void caused by changes in the jaw.

The Corega brand is one of the most widely-used, and therefore best fixation products. Their range also includes the aforementioned fixation powder. Other popular products are Curaprox and Protefix.

Avoid cheap and unverified denture adhesives

Cheap tooth adhesives pose a risk due to their composition. Dental adhesives must be medically and health certified – and they are available over-the-counter.  Although dental adhesives from Asia are inexpensive, their chemical composition may not correspond to the trademark composition.  They therefore pose a risk that may, at best, result in infection.

Caring for a dental prosthesis

Proper and thorough care of a dental prosthesis eliminates the problems mainly caused by the bacteria on the prosthesis.

  1. The denture must first be cleaned mechanically with a toothbrush.
  2. Drop a cleaning tablet into a glass and add the denture.
  3. Add warm water to the glass. The water must not be hot; otherwise, it could weaken the mechanical characteristics and deform the prosthesis.
  4. Allow the cleaning tablet to dissolve in the water. Leave the denture in the solution for at least 10-15 minutes. Or ideally leave in the solution overnight.
  5. Rinse the dentures under a stream of lukewarm water before inserting them back into the oral cavity.

Care of the dental prosthesis should be performed thoroughly and daily. Due to the periodicity of this dental treatment, the risk of infections will be eliminated and consequent gum pain prevented. For the dental replacement to be a full and healthy dentition, it must be well cared for.



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