Dental prosthesis is used to complete the missing tooth area. If these gaps are not filled, the adjacent and opposite teeth may grow towards this area over time. Swelling, recession, and infection may occur in the gums.

Dental prosthesis

It is the process of closing tooth gaps caused by damaged or lost teeth for various reasons. It can be made of acrylic or metal. It can be fixed or removable. The aim is to prevent deformities that may occur due to cavities, to prevent eating, drinking and speech disorders, and to give an aesthetic appearance. In this way, the quality of life is increased. It is important that the prosthesis adapts to the patient’s mouth. For this reason, special measurements are taken for each patient and prepared in the laboratory. Sometimes it takes time to get used to dentures. While preparing the dentures, care is taken to ensure that the person is in a tone suitable for the color of the teeth. In this way, besides helping the person in eating and drinking functions, a good appearance and psychological support are provided.

When should I contact the dentist? 

Tooth replacement is not usually an emergency. In case of fracture, trauma, eating and drinking disorders, an emergency can be mentioned. However, although it is not urgent, it would be beneficial to consult a dentist as soon as possible for missing teeth.

What happens if I don’t get a denture? 

Dental prosthesis is used to complete the missing tooth area. If these gaps are not filled, the adjacent and opposite teeth may grow towards this area over time. Swelling, recession, and infection may occur in the gums. Other teeth may experience plaque formation, tartar and caries problems. Melting of the jawbone may occur. The person may experience eating, drinking, speaking problems. It will create an aesthetically bad image. This situation can affect the social life of the person, create psychological problems, and self-confidence can be shaken.

For this reason, in the presence of missing, broken, advanced decayed teeth in the mouth, it is beneficial for our physical and psychological health to fix them as soon as possible.

Does dentures hurt? 

The dental prosthesis preparation phase can sometimes be painful. Although procedures such as reduction and extraction of teeth are performed under anesthesia, pain may be experienced after the procedure. There may be a problem of adaptation to the prostheses fitted after the procedure. During this period, pain and mouth sores can be seen in some areas. These findings are temporary. In the presence of these, you should definitely get support from your dentist.

What are the types of dental prosthesis? 

The type of dental prosthesis is determined according to the number of missing teeth, age and oral care habits of the patient. If a large part of the teeth in the patient’s mouth has been lost for various reasons, a removable prosthesis is made. Fixed prosthesis is applied in a few missing teeth. The main thing is to protect the person’s healthy teeth. No prosthetic tooth will be as functional as one’s own healthy tooth.

Fixed dental prosthesis 

It is applied to people who have lost a small number of teeth in the mouth. The prosthesis is fixed in the mouth. It cannot be removed without the intervention of a dentist. In fixed prosthesis applications, the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth are slightly reduced. Then, an impression is taken, including the reduced teeth, and the plaster mold is removed. The prosthesis draft prepared in the laboratory is tried on the patient. Necessary corrections are made after the rehearsal. The final shape is baked and prepared in the laboratory and pasted into the patient’s mouth. In some types of prosthesis, three-dimensional molds are prepared and applied with computer support.

Fixed prosthesis takes two or three sessions. It is prepared in an average of 10 days and is called for control several times after it is fitted. During the controls, possible problems are detected and corrections are made.

It is desired that the fixed prosthesis be in a color tone suitable for the tooth color of the person, fit the teeth and gums well, and not damage the surrounding tissues.

The service life of the fixed prosthesis varies according to the type of material used and the oral care habits of the person. The type of fixed prosthesis to be used is determined by the number of missing teeth and oral care habits of the person. Commonly used fixed prosthesis types are:

Zirconia Prosthesis

It is made of a lighter material than metal-containing prostheses. Thanks to its light transmission feature, a whiter, more aesthetic appearance is obtained. Since it is made with computer support, it adapts more to the person’s mouth structure. It is a durable material. It can be safely applied to teeth with enamel loss, prostheses on implants, tooth crowding or separation where orthodontic treatment is not possible. However, in the presence of more than one missing tooth, it is not preferred too much. In addition, in the presence of a previously made laminate prosthesis, the risk of crushing and breaking increases as it will be exposed to excessive load.

Porcelain Prosthesis

It is used to fill the gaps in the presence of one or more missing teeth. Porcelain prostheses are heavier than zirconium. It puts more strain on the chin. Since the underlying material is metal, it takes on a slightly grayish color on the white coating. In case of teeth on both sides, more than one tooth gap can be easily closed.

Laminate Prosthesis

It is especially preferred in the presence of tooth fractures and small tooth gaps in the anterior teeth. To cover the broken area or to close the tooth gap, the tooth is crowned to slightly enlarge the teeth. Intervention on teeth is extremely rare.

Removable dental prosthesis 

Removable prostheses are preferred in cases where the number of missing teeth in the mouth is too high or there are no teeth, and the missing teeth cannot be covered with fixed prosthesis. It can be removed and worn for cleaning after meals or at night, if needed by the patient. In removable dentures, support is taken from existing teeth or tissues.

There are different types of removable prosthesis. These:

Total Prosthesis (Dentures)

It is applied if the patient has no teeth in the lower or upper jaw. It can be applied to the lower and upper jaw together, or it can be applied separately to the lower or upper jaw according to the patient’s needs. It is sometimes difficult to adapt to a total prosthesis. Especially in lower jaw prostheses, adaptation is provided in a longer time. Since there are no teeth, it will not be possible to support the prosthesis with teeth. In this case, support is taken from other tissues. Mostly acrylic material is measured according to the person’s mouth structure, plaster preparation is made. The draft prepared in the laboratory is tried on the patient. If necessary, corrections are made after the rehearsal. Appropriate prosthesis draft is prepared in the laboratory and fired. The final form is placed in the patient’s mouth. It may take up to 4-6 weeks for the patient to adapt to the prosthesis. In this process, the patient comes to the dentist 4-5 times for control. The parts that cannot adapt and damage the surrounding tissues are corrected. Saliva may increase in the first days after prosthesis insertion until mouth compliance is achieved. There may be speech differentiation, a feeling of fullness in the lips and cheeks. These are normal.

Partial Prosthesis (Hooked Prosthesis) 

It is used in cases where there are several teeth in the mouth. It is prepared like a total prosthesis. Support is also obtained from existing teeth. It is attached to the tooth with crochet wires. If needed, it can be removed at night for cleaning after meals. Over time, there may be loosening of the wire crochets. The dentist will tighten the loose sections.

Temporary Prosthesis 

Sometimes tooth extractions are needed for pre-denture preparation. However, it will take time for the extracted tooth tissues to heal. During this period, a temporary prosthesis is placed until the permanent dental prosthesis is made so that the person can continue his eating and drinking functions and not experience aesthetic problems. As intraoral tissue swelling decreases, temporary teeth become incompatible with oral structures and loosen during the healing process. In this period, permanent dental prosthesis is planned.

Implant Top Prosthesis

Sometimes an implant is applied to the jaw in the absence of one or more teeth. Implant is the application of screws into the jaw. It takes about 3 months to heal. At the end of the third month, porcelain or zirconium prostheses are made on the screws. Recently, implant applications have been made to transform removable prostheses into fixed prostheses in order to facilitate the life of total prosthesis patients. Four implants are placed in the entire lower or upper jaw. These are used as support and permanent prosthesis is made. The patient’s compliance is higher. Constant plugging and unplugging problem is gone.

How is dental prosthesis care done? 

Dental prosthesis is initially awkward, the body will get used to the new teeth in an average of 4-6 weeks. Your dentist will provide the necessary information about the care of the dental prosthesis during the process.

You may need to remove the dentures at night. However, it will be useful to wear it at night during my acclimatization period. The reason you remove your teeth at night is to rest your gums and reduce plaque formations and bacterial attachments that may occur due to saliva secretion.

Prostheses should be kept moist after removal. For this reason, it is recommended to keep the prosthesis in water, in moisturizing solutions or in a moist cotton. In this way, drying and deformation of the prosthesis material will be prevented.

As long as you use dentures, you should also pay attention to oral care. To prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems, you should brush your remaining teeth, gums and tongue every morning and evening with fluoride toothpaste.

How is denture cleaning done? 

Dental prostheses tend to accumulate food residues and predispose to plaque formation. This can be a source of bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay, oral aphthae.

Cleaning of dentures is like normal dental cleaning. Teeth are brushed at least twice a day. Food residues are removed.

What should I pay attention to when eating with dentures? 

Eating with newly made dentures can be challenging at first. During the period of getting used to the dental prosthesis of the oral structures, prefer small pieces and soft foods. Try to use both sides of the mouth equally when eating. Avoid hard foods, chewing gum or sticky foods. Do not use toothpicks.

As you get used to the denture, you can start other foods.

Should I use denture adhesive for dentures? 

Denture adhesives transform removable dentures into fixed dentures for a short time. If the removable denture has adapted to the intraoral structures, there is no need to use dental prosthesis adhesive.

However, if there is play, it may be necessary to fix it with an adhesive. Your dentist will give you the necessary advice.

When should I go to the dentist for a check-up after dental prosthesis? 

Your dentist will inform you about the control times. However:

  • If your dentures click while talking
  • If you feel that your dentures tend to slip or they no longer fit properly,
  • If your dentures make you feel uncomfortable,
  • If your dentures are visibly worn,
  • Contact your dentist if you have symptoms of gum disease or tooth decay, such as bleeding gums or bad breath.