What is Prosthodontics? Prosthodontics, also called dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry, is a dental specialty concerning the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and oral and maxillofacial tissues. Furthermore, according to the American College of Prosthodontists, a prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the esthetic (cosmetic) restoration and replacement of teeth.
How often should I receive dental checkups and cleanings? It is generally recommended that one has their teeth checked and cleaned minimally twice a year; however, there are cases in which one’s dentist or dental hygienist recommends visiting more often. Checkups and cleanings often include gum and bone evaluation, teeth health evaluation, existing restorations examination, plaque and tartar (calculus) removal, teeth polishing, and oral hygiene and dietary recommendations. Receiving cleanings and checkups twice a year is important since one cannot complete these tasks on one’s own. Preventative care is much more affordable, simpler, and quicker than procedures caused by the lack of oral hygiene and/or care.
How important is it to replace missing teeth? Although patients with missing teeth vary case by case, most would benefit greatly by replacing the missing teeth. When a gap between teeth is created due to tooth loss, teeth on either side of the gap begin to shift or lean into the empty space; the tooth above or below the gap will also begin to shift down or up (respectively) due to the lack of support the previous tooth provided when biting or chewing. The shifts are gradual but usually occur with time. The movement of the neighboring teeth may lead to problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, etc.
What are my options if I am missing a tooth/teeth? Whatever the reason may be for one or more missing teeth, one has a number of options to replace the tooth to avoid dental and esthetic problems in the future. Bridges – Bridges were named as such because the dental appliance is placed in the gap by being either hooked or anchored onto the two adjacent teeth neighboring the gap. There are both removable and fixed bridges: removable bridges typically consist of an artificial tooth with metal clasps on either side which hook onto adjacent natural teeth, and fixed bridges are usually made of porcelain or composite material which is cemented to the adjacent natural teeth. Dentures – Dentures are removable artificial teeth designed to resemble the patient’s original teeth used when one is missing most or all of his or her teeth from one or both dental arches (upper teeth or lower teeth). Implants – Dental implants are artificial teeth placed on artificial roots surgically implanted into the jaw bone to replace one or more missing teeth. Implants are stable, durable, esthetically pleasing, and provide the appearance and sensation of a natural tooth. Please note, not every option is viable for every patient seeking a replacement tooth or teeth. Please make an appointment with our office so that we can determine the best replacement option for your individual case.
How important is it to brush my teeth and floss? Brushing one’s teeth and flossing is the key defense from dental disease and oral complications. Currently, there is no method of permanently preventing plaque buildup, and thus, one must maintain his or her own dental hygiene as best as possible by regular brushing, flossing, and other dental aids. It is recommended that one brushes his or her teeth minimally twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. Flossing is the best way to clean between teeth and below the gumline and is recommended to be done at least once a day.
Is dental floss important? Yes, generally people believe that brushing one’s teeth will remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from their teeth; although this is true, it is a fact only for the case of the surfaces of each tooth, not in between each tooth and below the gumline. Merely brushing one’s teeth will not reach all the necessary spaces, and the lack of flossing may cause dental problems such as decay and gum disease. Daily flossing will clean between teeth, under the gumline, and remove plaque build-up.
What is plaque? Plaque is a film of bacteria and food particles that form on teeth which produces toxins that cause cavities and gum irritation. If plaque is not removed for extended periods of time, it will turn into tartar (calculus) which will continue to cause damage to teeth and gums and lead to more serious dental issues.
If you have any general questions not addressed here, please feel free to contact us by phone at (213) 365-1008 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a question regarding a specific or personal case, please call and make an appointment with us at your earliest convenience.
2970 W. Olympic Blvd. #202, Los Angeles, CA 90006 Tel: (213) 365-1008 • Fax: (213) 365-0934 • E-mail: email@example.com