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Dental Prosthesis Types — denture, crown and bridge, rpd — PHOTOS

Fixed and removable dentures

Tooth loss has a solution, it is called dental prosthesis and it can transform your life. Those who value, image, well-being and self-esteem, instantly realize they will have to use a type of dental prosthesis of the highest quality possible.

It is possible to possess splendid teeth, even if they are artificial teeth.

The type of dental prosthesis indicated for each person depends on multiple factors.

The number of teeth in place, existing support, bone structure and of course the price. In reality, the cost of the dental prosthesis may constitute the most relevant reason for most people.

A crown cemented or screwed into a dental implant is the best solution to replace a missing tooth. Yet it is the most expensive alternative, which is why it is not habitually the selected choice. However, a fixed prosthesis is better than a removable prosthesis and doesn't always depend on the implant to be used.

Fixed dental prosthesis - crown and bridge

Dental porcelain crown

fig.1a- All porcelain crowns

If a tooth is extremely damaged, the remaining structure can be exploited to make a ceramic or porcelain fused to metal crown. It is for the dentist to verify which of the two types of crown is the most suitable.

Usually the full porcelain crown produces better cosmetic results than the metal ceramic crown. Why choose a PFM crown (porcelain fused to metal)?
- Because it is more resistant to the forces resulting from chewing.

PFM dental crown

fig.1b- Porcelain fused to metal crown

This happens with the molar teeth and the premolars (bicuspid teeth).

Richmond crown

When the anatomical crown of a natural tooth is completely destroyed, its root can still be ready to receive an artificial crown. This crown can be made in one piece (Richmond crown) or in two parts, a better solution. With one of the pieces being a post cemented at the root and the other the tooth crown itself, which is cemented on the post.

Implant supported crown

In the event that the tooth no longer exists including the root, the prosthetic tooth can be cemented or screwed-in a dental implant. Or be incorporated into a three unit dental bridge (fig.2).

Dental bridge

fig.2- PFM dental bridge

A dental bridge is indicated when there is a space with one, two, three or more missing teeth. The natural teeth on each side of the edentulous space being used as supports. The bridge, like the crown is a fixed dental prosthesis and is the best type of prosthesis that you can have.

Both bridges and crowns are fixed in the mouth with cement (special glue), or screwed-in, if implants were used.

The drawback of the cemented partial bridge is it requires preparation of the abutment teeth. It is not a disadvantage if those teeth are ungood at an aesthetic level. However, if the teeth that serve as support are in excellent condition, it is not a good idea to 'trim' them. In this case, the use of dental implants is especially indicated.

[Learn more about dental bridges]

Removable dental prosthesis types

Acrylic, silicone, metal and resin - complete and partial

fig.3- Removable acrylic dentures

Ordinary acrylic dentures (fig.3/fig.5) are without difficulty removed by the wearer and may contain all the teeth or just some of them.

Acrylic and silicone dentures rapidly lose their quality. The teeth wear out in a short time, so the aesthetic is compromised too early (except if porcelain teeth are used).

Any way, as they fit over the oral mucosa (the toothless part of the tissues of the mouth), they will accelerate the reduction of bone in the dental arch. This process will affect the adaptation of the dental prosthesis and will promote it "sinking" in the mouth. Its function is pretty soon definitively compromised.

For all these reasons, acrylic or flexible dentures should be replaced at periodic intervals and be regarded as temporary. Unfortunately, the economic situation of many people does not allow such consideration. According to an article published in the Journal of American Dental Association, edentulism * has not been significantly decreasing among the poor.

* the condition od being toothless

RPD - removable partial denture with clasps

fig.4- Removable partial denture

This type of removable denture known as RPD (fig.4), gains support and retention through the teeth remaining in the mouth. It uses metal rests and clasps to accomplish this goal. In some situations, as in the photo, the support is shared with the mucosa of the edentulous area.

A removable partial denture (RPD) produces less negative impact on the alveolar bone than the removable acrylic prosthesis. It takes advantage in this regard. Wherein receives fewer points is in aesthetics. These days, the negative visual impact caused by metal retention clasps, is almost unacceptable.

This is a more expensive prosthesis than the acrylic, but cheaper than fixed prosthesis (dental crowns and bridges). That difference turns out to be diluted in time because it is not as durable as the fixed prosthesis which can last for more than twenty years.
[Read more about RPDs]

Complete dentures

fig.5- Complete lower denture

Anyone using complete removable dentures can get better quality of life by deciding to place dental implants to keep and support their artificial teeth.

[Learn more about acrylic resin and flexible dentures]

Dentures and teeth fixed to dental implants

fig.6- Dental implants

The dental implant alone is not a prosthesis. It acts as a substitute for the natural tooth root. The dental implant retains an adjusted post upon which will be cemented or screwed the prosthetic tooth.

It provides support and retentivity for a dental crown or dental bridge. At the minimum two implants will be needed for the bridges. For fixed complete dentures 6, 4 or 2 implants are required in each dental arch, depending on the type of dentures (hybrid, full porcelain bridge and implant overdenture) and fixing.

This is the most advanced and efficient solution for the integration of complete dentures.

Implant-Supported Dentures vs Removable Dentures

Implant-Supported Dentures Removable Dentures
An investment that can last a lifetime. Least expensive option.
Helps to preserve bone. Decreases bone.
Works much like natural teeth. Don't feel and function like natural teeth.
Strong and stable. Unstable and unreliable.
No need for denture creams or adhesives. Dental adhesives are often needed.
Should not ever need replacement. Will need to be remaded or relined from time to time.


All porcelain crown

PFM dental bridge

Dental implant costs

Prosthesis over implants

Worst denture types

Which denture is the best?

Making a denture, step by step

Removable partial denture (clasps) - RPD

Acrylic resin denture

Silicone dentures - cost

How to fix a denture

Whitening Teeth

Dental fees - JP

Dental fees - SG

Denture costs - AU

Denture costs - NZ

Dentist prices - CA

Denture costs - CH

Dental prosthesis prices - UK

Dental fees - USA