Everyone loves to laugh. We laugh at jokes, when we are enjoying the company of others, at special occasions, and even when we are all by ourselves observing our pet doing something totally outrageous. Laughing or smiling is the medicine for the soul. Yet there are many individuals who are self-conscious and try to avoid situations where they relax and just naturally smile. Their teeth may be broken, damaged, missing or just look irregular. They hide their smile and therefore suppress their feelings. If you find yourself embarrassed by your smile and insecure about socializing with others, is a prosthodontic treatment right for you? If you have never heard this word before, let’s find out what it is and how it might improve your quality of life.
What are Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is a specialty of dentistry which uses artificial substitutes to improve esthetics, restore functionality and also assure the patient’s comfort. These substitutes include: fillings, veneers, dentures, crowns, bridges, and dental implants.
Prosthodontic dentistry is a specialty recognized by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. An additional three years of study post a dental degree is required to be a certified Prosthodontist. The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) defines it as “…that branch and specialty of dentistry which diagnoses, restores and maintains oral function….”
Advancements in dentistry over the last twenty years now make it possible for a Prosthodontist to offer multiple options to patients with broken, missing, and discoloured teeth. No matter the issue, a Prosthodontist can diagnose and identify the source of your oral deterioration. If appropriate they can stop the progression of any diseases and outline a plan to prevent its reoccurrence.
Why Come to a Prosthodontist?
A Prosthodontist will evaluate each patient’s individual oral issues and recommend a treatment plan to correct and enhance your smile. They are expertly trained to replace missing teeth, restore natural teeth and correct discoloured teeth. They can correct any compromised chewing functions, any negative aesthetics and thereby help to improve a patient’s overall quality of life.
Some of the most common reasons associated with missing and broken teeth include:
- Gum disease
- Some trauma or accident
- Oral cancers
- Teeth grinding or gnashing
Whatever the reason, it is imperative to search out a certified Prosthodontist. Only a dentist with this expertise can provide patients with state of the art Prosthodontic care.
Specialized Treatments Available
Once diagnosed there are multiple options available to patients depending on the oral issues. Common treatments include the following:
- A Crown is an implant that covers an existing tooth to prevent decay or to enhance your appearance. It also can help protect a weak tooth.
- A bridge is also an implant but it is used primarily to fill in an opening between teeth. The purpose can be two-fold: to hide the gap and also to prevent the other teeth from eventually shifting.
- Dentures replace missing teeth and can be partial or complete.
- Dental implants are recommended when a patient needs extra protection to preserve bone structure. They can improve functionality over traditional dentures and have a more genuine appearance.
- Veneers are a covering cemented on to your teeth to improve your appearance. This is recommended if teeth are worn down, chipped or discoloured.
- Bonding is a simple way to reshape or fill in areas. A composite is used to improve the contour and match the color of the tooth.
It is important to note that not everyone is a candidate for certain prosthodontic treatments. Only a certified Prosthodontist can evaluate and recommend the right treatment for you.
The Cosmetic Element
Make no mistake, much of what a Prosthodontist does is cosmetic. If you had a broken tooth and the veneer or artificial replacement was a different colour than the rest of your teeth, or the size was not complementary to the other surrounding teeth, you probably would not think that was much of an improvement. A Prosthodontist must marry the medical treatment with the cosmetic. The final restoration needs to not only function properly but also look natural and enhance your appearance.
Look no further. As a board certified Prosthodontist, Dr. Leung utilizes her prosthodontic ability to create not only functional but also aesthetic dental reconstructions. Is a Prosthodontic treatment right for you? It’s time to bring back that great smile and begin to enjoy life again.
If you or someone you know would like more information about Prosthodontic dentistry or to make an appointment with Dr. Leung, contact our dental specialists today.