Options to improve health, form and function
There are times when it is a good idea to replace a missing tooth, and there are usually a number of options for doing so.
Prosthodontists can replace missing teeth where necessary, in a way that combines the best aspects of function, aesthetics and longevity. It is important to take into account what you want when deciding how best to proceed, and how to achieve the best outcome all round:
- Partial or complete dentures
- Implant supported crowns
Over the last 30 years, the use of titanium implants to support and/or retain one or many teeth has become an accepted and predictable tool.
Depending on your situation, implants can be used to anchor a tooth, or multiple implants can retain a functional set of teeth. While it is quite an investment, the hundreds of patients I have worked with to date are pretty unanimous in describing it as a great substitute for a missing tooth. Where unsightly/mobile teeth or loose dentures have been restored with implant supported teeth, it is amazing to see how much it changes someone's quality of life for the better.
- single tooth implants
- multiple implants for bridges and overdentures
If teeth have broken down once, it can happen again. As a result, it is important to protect your investment and ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
Maintaining good oral hygiene and dietary habits are only one aspect of keeping everything healthy. Wearing a 'Night Guard' is also something to consider, particularly for people that have worn down or broken teeth due to clenching/grinding.
A protective device like this can also help reduce pain and discomfort from muscles in the area. It acts as an orthotic, positioning the lower jaw in a position that encourages muscles to relax. It forms an useful option as part of a multidisciplinary team approach in the management of atypical head and neck pain, or tempormandibular dysfunction.
There is evidence to suggest that the improved confidence associated with a nice smile really helps at work and socially.
When teeth are worn down, discoloured or misaligned there are ways to carry out treatment that doesn't just make things 'look better', but also helps prevent problems down the line. While some of the interventions below can be carried out in one step, sometimes a combination of treatments working in tandem with other oral health specialists such as Periodontists and Orthodontists is necessary to provide a comprehensive and predictable solution:
- Replacing existing restorations
- Reshaping worn teeth with adhesive restorations
- Tooth whitening
Working within a multidisciplinary team, the prosthodontist is the ideal 'project manager'
Maxillofacial Prosthetics Dental Oncology
Cancer survivors, in particular Head and Neck cancer survivors, need extra help with restoring missing hard and/or soft tissues, as well as simply maintaining optimal oral health and function. Please contact me if you have questions or need help with any of the following:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced oral opening (sometimes called Trismus)
- Speech pathologies
- Maxillofacial prosthetics
- Facial prostheses
Part of the Sleep Disturbance Team
Snoring or interruptions to breathing while sleeping can have significant effects on your general health and quality of life. If indicated, and in conjunction with your respiratory team, devices can be used to posture the lower jaw forward to improve the passage of air during sleep.