The goal to restorative care is to preserve natural teeth as much as possible. Replacing missing teeth with a dental implant, bridge, full or partial denture helps promote dental health as well. Filling in empty spaces in the mouth can help prevent cavities in the remaining teeth because odd-shaped gaps are vulnerable spots for plaque-causing bacteria to build up. Missing teeth also put extra stress on your remaining natural teeth because you don’t have as much surface area to chew with.
When treating a cavity, Dr. Hansen at White Peak Dental will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill it with another substance. This procedure is called a filling. There are multiple options for the material to be used in the filling, the most common of which are composite fillings and amalgam fillings.
A composite filling is also known as a tooth colored filling, since the material used in the filling can be closely matched to the color of your teeth. Composite fillings provide good durability for small to medium cavities, and the procedure typically involves removing less of a tooth than you would during an amalgam filling. They are also particularly well suited for treating front or highly visible teeth because of their natural look.
All-ceramic crowns or caps offer a natural looking solution for a broken tooth, cracked tooth, or teeth that are too badly damaged to be corrected with fillings or veneers. Ceramic crowns can be made white and natural looking. Incorporating bonding with all-ceramic crowns potentially can restore both the strength and beauty of unblemished natural teeth.
This treatment is a set of specialized procedures designed to treat problems of the nerve tissue inside the tooth. While some mistakenly think of it as an unusually painful treatment, in most cases the procedure is no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. It is actually one of the most effective ways of relieving some kinds of tooth pain.
Removable bridges or removable partial dentures are appliances made to replace one or more missing teeth in an arch.
Removable bridges all use the same type of tooth material but are differentiated by the materials used to hold the teeth to the partial denture and the way the partial denture attaches to the two (or more) teeth left in the arch (upper or lower).
Temporary Acrylic Removable Partial Denture
Known as the Flipper in dentistry, this is generally the least expensive alternative to replacing missing teeth. Some flippers have a wire clasp to help attach the acrylic base to the teeth while others have no clasps at all. These removable partial dentures have an acrylic base made exactly the same as a complete denture. The biggest benefit of this type of removable partial denture is that it can be made before any teeth are removed and delivered the same day as the extractions are done. Then, if more teeth need to be removed later, teeth can be added easily and economically to the flipper.
Cast Framework Partial Dentures
As the name implies, these are partial dentures which have a cast metal framework supporting denture acrylic and teeth. These partials are mainly tooth supported and retained and are therefore extremely stable. The metal framework is cast extremely thin and is therefore much less noticeable than the acrylic framework partials. The clasps are designed to retain the partial in place and the teeth are altered slightly to allow the patient to bring teeth all the way together without interfering with the clasps. This also makes it possible to place the clasps in positions which are less visible than wire clasps. The cast framework is also very strong and is less likely to break than acrylic, and since the metal does not rest on tissue, but on teeth, these partials do not sink below the level of the teeth. Finally, since there is little contact with the soft tissue, sore spots are not much of a problem.
Flexible Framework Partial Dentures
The newest types of partial dentures are made from a nylon-like material and are called Valplast (the most common) or Flexite partials. This material replaces the metal and acrylic of a standard partial denture. The clasps that hold the partial to the teeth are made of the same pink material and are generally indistinguishable from the gums, a very nice aesthetic advantage. The material is also nearly unbreakable so it can be made quite thin, a distinct advantage over the acrylic framework partials.
Combination Metal Framework with Flexible Clasp Partials
For the patient with high esthetic demands who also needs the most stable framework possible, we are now able to make a metal framework with clasps made of the pink material used in Valplast or Flexite partials. This allows us to hide the clasps while alleviating many of the sore spot problems associated with flexible frameworks.
White Peak Dental and Dr Hansen will spend time consulting with you on which removable partial denture is best for you.