Teeth perform different functions including chewing, phonetics (talking), aesthetics (keeping the facial alignment or beauty in place) and to some extent, self-defence (biting an enemy). When these functions cannot be performed effectively because of several factors, some people may opt to use artificial teeth.
There are three major types of artificial teeth that a person can choose from, depending on the state of their dental health and recommendation from the dentist.
This is a plate with a number of false teeth on it. It may be plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic.
With this kind of artificial teeth, a person has to remove and clean them everyday. Partial dentures are made for both anterior (six of the upper and lower front) and posterior (premolars and molars) teeth. They are recommended for people who have lost all their teeth.
Partial dentures are also relatively cheap compared to other types of artificial teeth.
Bridges is one of the permanent types of artificial teeth. It is recommended for people who have one or two missing teeth at the same point. However, for a bridge to be fixed, the neighbouring (adjacent) teeth must be strong enough since they are the ones that support the artificial teeth. Once it is fixed, a person does not have to remove it.
This is the most expensive of all types of artificial teeth. It requires an orthodontist (a dentist who specialises in prosthetic treatment to fix it). Implants are usually fixed from the jaw bone.
While all artificial teeth are generally safe, the removable of partial dentures can cause reddening of the gum, which in the long run may lead to gum disease or inflammation and mouth odour.
That is why it is recommended that a person brushes their teeth at least twice a day, to keep away plaque and other dental-related diseases.
Removable dentures can be used for up to seven years if a person maintains them well. When they become lose, they can be easily fixed by the dentist. On the other hand, bridges and implants can last for over a decade before a person can replace them.
The writer is a dentist
SOURCE: Daily Monitor