Dental Clinic: What you should know about artificial teeth

Monday November 11 2013

Dental Clinic: What you should know about artificial teeth

 

By Richard Kabanda

Today, it is common for people to have their teeth replaced with artificial ones. This is usually done for various reasons which include replacing damaged teeth as a result of decay, accidents, or just the need to have a new set of teeth.

Artificial teeth, which are made to perform the functions of natural teeth, are made from different types of material.

Partial dentures
This is a removable form of artificial teeth. If a person has partial dentures, it will require them to remove it daily for cleaning and at night as they go to sleep. This type of artificial teeth can be used for both the anterior (front teeth) and posterior (rear teeth), and also for people who have lost all their teeth.

The bridge
This is usually used to fix one or more missing teeth. It is most appropriate for anterior teeth, though it can also be made for posterior teeth. However, this type of artificial teeth cannot be used by people without any teeth.

Implant
This is the most expensive of all types of artificial teeth. Because of its sophistication, you will require an orthodontist (a dentist who specialises in prosthetic treatments) to fix it.

In using implants, a missing tooth is fixed right from the jaw bone, and it is hard to tell the difference between a person’s natural tooth and the artificial one. Implants also last longer than the other two types.

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Fixing an artificial tooth does not have any negative effect on a person’s dental health, and the procedures are usually free of pain.

However the removal of artificial teeth may lead to gum disease or inflammation of the gum, and a bad mouth odour if a person fails to keep their mouth and teeth clean at all times.

Durability
If maintained properly, removable dentures can be used for over seven years. Even when they become loose, it is possible to repair them at an affordable cost.

Bridges and implants on the other hand can last for more than 10 years.

But in order to effectively use them over long periods of time, the user must follow instructions that were given to them by the dentist.

And since the artificial teeth vary in cost and type, those who need them must first visit a dentist for advice on proper use and management.

The writer is a dentist
krdent@yahoo.com

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