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People wear dentures to replace lost or missing teeth so they can enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence. Dentures are made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal.

There are two main types of dentures

A 'complete' or 'full' denture is one which replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaws. Complete dentures, fit snugly over your gums. They will help you to eat comfortably and speak clearly, and will improve your confidence.

A 'partial' denture fills in the spaces left by lost or missing teeth. It may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps or 'precision attachments'. Partial dentures replace teeth that are missing and can sometimes be supported by the teeth you have left. If you have some gaps between your teeth, then your other teeth may move to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth. This could affect the way you bite and could damage your other teeth.

Complete dentures are available in a number of different options. There are NHS, Independent or Private complete dentures. Which denture you choose depends on what you want from your denture; if you want the best possible denture then choose the Private complete denture which has most natural appearance possible. The teeth are maticuously constructed in Swizterland and the technician will take extra time to ensure the gum has a perfectly natural appearance. The denture will fit perfectly and the construction materials are the strongest available.

If you want a very good standard of denture then choose the Independent complete denture. The teeth are natural in appearance and the gum also looks good. The denture will fit perfectly and the construction material is strong.

If you just want a basic functional denture then choose the NHS complete denture.

There are a number of partial dentures available these include normal acrylic partial dentures, cobalt chrome precision fitting partial dentures and Valplast flexible dentures.
Root Canal Treatments
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. You may not feel any pain in the early stages of the infection. In some cases, your tooth could darken in colour, which may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died (or is dying). This would need root canal treatment.

If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess. An abscess is an inflamed area in which pus collects and can cause swelling of the tissues around the tooth. The symptoms of an abscess can range from a dull ache to severe pain and the tooth may be tender when you bite. If root canal treatment is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

The aim of the root canal treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection.

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentist.

At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed, and any abscesses can be drained. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.

The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.

Root Canal

Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, if the infection comes back, the treatment can sometimes be repeated or the tooth may be extracted.

The alternative to root canal treatment is to have the tooth out. Once the pulp is destroyed it can't heal, and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth.

Although some people would prefer to have the tooth out, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

After root canal treatment the tooth will be relatively similar to your other teeth. However, as a dead tooth is more brittle, it may be necessary to restore the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.

Root canal treatment can be done on an NHS or private basis. The private treatment has greater chance of success as the best available materials such as nickel titanium rotary files are used and extra time is given to the treatment
Large Restorations (fillings) in Back Teeth
A number of options exist for large restorations (fillings) in back teeth. The simplest is a filling which may be silver amalgam or composite (white filling). Probably the best option in most cases for restoring a large amount of missing natural tooth in back teeth is a porcelain inlay or onlay. It is good because it requires little removal of good tooth and usually lasts for a long time. The other option for restoring a large restoration in a back tooth is a crown. Some or all of these options may be available to you but to find the best solution for you it is best to talk through the options with your dentist.
A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. A crown is sometimes known as a 'cap'.

Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials and new materials are continually being introduced. Some of the most popular options are listed below;

  1. Porcelain bonded to precious or non-precious metal: this is what most crowns are made from. A precious or non-precious metal base is made and then porcelain is applied in layers over it.
  2. Porcelain crowns: these crowns are made entirely out of porcelain and are not as strong as bonded crowns, but they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth.
  3. All-ceramic crowns: this modern technique offers a metal-free alternative, which can give the strength of a bonded crown and the appearance of a porcelain crown. Therefore it is suitable for use in all areas of the mouth.
  4. Gold alloy crowns: gold is one of the oldest filling materials. Today it is used with other metal alloys to increase its strength, which makes it a very hardwearing restoration. These crowns are silver or gold in colour.
Post Crowns: In root-filled teeth it may be necessary to insert a post before placing a crown. A post provides support and helps the crown stay in place. The weakened crown of the tooth may be shortened to gum level.

A post can be made of prefabricated stainless steel which the dentist can fit directly into the root canal, or a custom-made post can be constructed by the dental technician to accurately fit the shape of the prepared root canal. The post is placed into the root canal and cemented in position, ready for the crown to be attached.

Some or all of these options may be available to you but to find the best solution for you it is best to talk through the options with your dentist.
A bridge is made by putting crowns on the teeth at either side of the space, and then joining these two crowns together by placing a false tooth in the space. This is all made in the laboratory and then the pieces are cemented into place with special adhesives. The bridge can't be removed.

Another option is an adhesive bridge. This has wings that are bonded to the back of the supporting teeth with very little drilling involved.

Bridges are only possible if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support.

Bridges usually made of porcelain bonded to precious or non-precious metal. Sometimes, there are other non-precious metals used in the base for strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain.

Some or all of these options may be available to you but to find the best solution for you it is best to talk through the options with your dentist.
028 9066 4009

Northern Ireland Dental Care | Belfast
639 Lisburn Road, Belfast
BT9 7GT Northern Ireland
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Website Last Updated - 24th October 2019

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