Its function is to replace lost or compromised teeth for functional and/or aesthetic purposes. The following requirements must be respected:
Functionality: it deals with the restoration of a correct chewing and joint functions (opening, closing, right-left laterality, protrusion-retrusion and correct phonetics).
Resistance: the prosthesis must be resistant to masticatory load and wear.
Bio-compatibility: the prosthesis must be constructed with non-toxic materials and without “corners” that could damage the tissues, causing long-term serious illnesses.
Aesthetics: artificial teeth should be as similar as possible to the natural ones and a lot of attention must be paid in order not to alter the correct facial profile of the patient.
It is applied on the teeth prepared by the dentist (abutments), reducing them in height and volume. The prosthesis, which has the same shape and function as the natural tooth, is cemented on them.
Metal-resin crowns and bridges
They have an internal structure made of dental alloy, coated with composite resin. The occlusal part is made of gold while the resin only convers the external and aesthetic part of the element.
Metal-ceramic crowns and bridges
They have an internal structure made of dental alloy, coated with a layer of ceramic, which is treated in specific ovens for this material. The high temperature will transform the earthy mixture in a glassy substance that will be very hard and resistant to abrasion and acids in the mouth. Among the advantages of the ceramic, the most important is the stability of shape and colour over time. The prosthesis is completely covered by ceramic, so the underlying gold is invisible, unlike metal-resin.
All-ceramic crowns and bridges (metal free or zirconia)
These prosthesis don’t have any metal structure inside them, so they are free from that small border which becomes visible and anaesthetic in case of gingival retraction. The zirconia, which derives from the zirconia oxide, is a very resistant material, bio-compatible and it doesn’t cause any allergies. It perfectly replaces any type of prosthetic metal, from the aesthetic point of view, as well as from the functional one. Every kind of dental prosthesis can be realized using zirconia: crowns and bridges of any dimension, bolted (like abutments for implants) or glued, on natural teeth or oral implants.
Ceramic aesthetic veneers
Today it is possible to correct small misalignments, dyschromia or imperfections of anterior teeth without having to undergo a prosthetic treatment which requires the reduction of the volume of the tooth. The preparation consists of reducing the anterior and occlusal surface of the tooth of a couple of millimetres and after treating the surface, thin foils called veneers made of ceramic material are applied on the teeth. The veneers are prepared in the laboratory from the patient’s dental impression.
Temporary crowns in resin and bridges in reinforced resin
They are fixed on the tooth or implant during the processing period of the final crown or bridge or while waiting for healing. Although they are temporary, the functional value of the provisional crown or bridge is very important. The temporary crown is needed to protect the tooth from thermal stimuli when it is not devitalized but it has been dimensionally reduced before the final restoration. It is also needed to protect the tooth from bacteria that can penetrate through the opened dentinal tubules, causing a nerve inflammation (pulpitis). It is important in order not to feel discomfort while eating during the treatment period and to avoid its tilt due to the lack of contact points. The temporary crown is used to prevent from the overgrowth of the gum around the prepared tooth. In case of several prepared teeth and to be resistant to masticatory forces for a very long period, the temporary elements can be reinforced using a metal structure: in this case we talk about reinforced.
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