A smile is the simplest yet most efficient way of showing confidence and good nature. However, one missing tooth can stop someone from flashing their pearly whites with conviction. One small gap in a person’s smile changes everything. It makes a person self-conscious when talking to people, and it can lower a person’s self-esteem. Thankfully, dentists in Laurel MD have come up with a solution to fill those gaps, and bring back a person’s confidence with partial dentures or partials.
Partials are dental prosthetics designed to replace a patient’s missing tooth (or teeth). Sometimes called false teeth, they are made of either metal or plastic, and are covered with composite resin to match the color of the patient’s teeth, and look natural. There are two types of partials depending on the severity of the dental damage of the patient.
The first one is the detachable RPDs, or removable partial dentures. RPDs are attached to a gum-colored plastic base with a metal framework that clasps to the remaining teeth to make it secure. Patients can take it out before they go to sleep, and put it back on whenever needed.
To create an RPD, a will first make a 3D model of the patient’s dentition using a plaster. This will act as the mold for the dental laboratory in creating the RPD, to ensure that it will fit inside the patient’s mouth comfortably. Once done, the dentist will fit the RPD to the patient’s teeth and make necessary adjustments if needed.
The second type of partials is called a bridge. Unlike RPDs, bridges are fixed partials, and are permanently attached to the patient’s remaining teeth. They can be compared to dental implants, except that they do not need a titanium post to be secured in the patient’s jaw. Using plaster, the dentist will create a 3D model of the gap that will be filled in with a bridge. The adjacent teeth to the gap will be reduced as they are where the bridge will be attached. The dental laboratory will then create the bridge using synthetic material, covered with composite resin. Once done, the bridge will have two hollow areas on both sides where the reduced teeth around the gap will fit. The dentist will check if the bridge fits comfortably, and then seal it using dental cement.
Aside from its aesthetic significance, partial dentures are helpful in keeping the rest of the teeth healthy and strong. An unattended gap in a patient’s dentition causes additional strain to the adjacent teeth. Also, a missing tooth can affect a person’s bite which can cause damage to the gums, the jaw, and the facial tissues in the long run. RPDs and bridges stand in place of the missing tooth, and prevent further damage to the mouth. Most importantly, they complete a person’s set of teeth so they will boost confidence by restoring a beautiful bright smile.