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The traditional techniques to replace a missing tooth

To replace one or more missing teeth dentists often use prosthetics. There are two different types:  fixed and removable.

  • The removable prosthetics are the ones that we can take out of our mouth by ourselves, usually dentures with braces.
  • Fixed prosthetics are the ones that are fixed permanently in your mouth.

Now we will explain the different techniques of fixed prosthetics used to replace a missing tooth.

The Bridge with crowns on natural teeth

This bridge is a fixed prosthetic composed of two crowns linked by an artificial tooth that replaces the missing tooth ( or teeth ) by supporting itself on the surrounding teeth. The teeth that support the bridge are called the pillars and they need to be prepared and reduced on every side to be able to place the two crowns. This is done by grinding down the pillar teeth to obtain the necessary preparations. This bridge is made of gold and covered by ceramic material.

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Crown on an implant

A crown on an implant is a fixed prosthetic. It is composed of a screw, normally of titanium, that passes through the gum and is inserted on to the bone after one or more surgical intervention to replace the root of the missing tooth. Then the crown is attached to the implant.

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The implant technique can replace a single tooth, to fill a space more or less important between two teeth or, to maintain a denture in a partially toothless jaw. Contrary to the root of a tooth, the implant is in direct contact with the bone, it is called Osseo Integration. This lack of ligament means that there is no damping system to protect the bone pressures created by the impact on the teeth during swallowing, chewing or grinding of teeth.

As illustrated above, the implant is composed of two parts:

  • a small portion, smooth and polished (not sterile) to facilitate cleaning because it is in contact with the oral environment;
  • a big portion with a thread, roughened to increase the surface of contact with the bone and thus increase the bond strength. This surface is impossible to clean properly, and the risk of build-up of microbes can lead to gum retraction. If this is the case, it would mean the loss of the implant because microbes will multiply and progressively will interpose between the bone and the implant, removing Osseo Integration;

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