The ABC of dental care: Dental implants and most popular types of dentures

Our expert – doctor Leonīds Veļkovičs (Dental health care centre „Brīvības, 103“. Tel.: 67379889, 29249165). If one lives long enough, however hard one or one’s dentist may try, sooner or later one will lose some of one’s teeth. Therefore the issue of rational replacement of natural teeth with dentures or dental implants will become topical for everyone at some point. The main rule in this context is: if you have lost a tooth don’t wait for years, go and consult your dentist as soon as possible. If you don’t do it in due time, you can lose much more than just one tooth in the years to follow due to various reasons. Unfortunately, many of us still remember the severest examples of soviet dental care, which had virtually no knowledge of efficient anaesthetic agents. I can now state with full responsibility that today prosthodontists have top-quality anaesthetics at their disposal and you won’t have to suffer pain at the dentist’s. All dentures can be divided into two groups – fixed dentures (crowns and bridges) and removable dentures (plates and arches). There is no point in providing detailed descriptions of all these types here – if finding the appropriate tooth replacement method were such an easy task, the future prosthodontists and dentists wouldn’t have to study for five years in universities and improve their professional skills throughout their professional careers, while the implants and dentures themselves could be bought at drugstores or even at „Narvesen” coffee shops. Therefore, when you have made an appointment with a prosthodontist – trust him/her, only s/he will know what type of treatment will suit you best, including the financial side of the question. Dentures and implants today are not what they used to be. Bridges and crowns are no longer stamped but casted. Moreover, they can be made from a very wide range of materials, including expensive alloys containing platinum and gold. Crowns and bridges without metal base are another available novelty, the so-called metal-free ceramics. And, finally, porcelain is also widely used – an ideal prosthetic material. Speaking about new solutions that have recently become available in Latvia one cannot omit dental implants. This is a cutting-edge treatment method, which often makes it possible to avoid preparating healthy teeth (as would have been the case if the soviet specialists were to decide), by using another solution instead – inserting a dental implant. Modern implants are designed to minimize the probability of rejection. Worldwide statistics shows that success is achieved in 93-94% of cases, while in our centre these are 98-99 per cent. Another progressive type of removable dentures is the ever-widening application of late – dentures from thermoplastic materials (Valplast, TCS, etc.). Today it is one of the simplest treatments used by many people in case of missing teeth. We were among the first dental care centres to introduce this solution in Latvia. Finally, I would like to emphasize that there is a wide choice of artificial replacements for natural teeth. All the prosthetic methods mentioned in this article can be used in combination, as a rule. Consequently, there is a whole world of different ways of solving teeth loss problems to suit the taste and financial capacity of any client. IN THE NEXT ISSUE: The most popular dentistry myths