Prosthodontics, also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry, is a dental speciality pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing teeth or deficient teeth.
Fixed prosthodontics refers to the technique used to restore teeth, using fixed (that is, permanently attached) restorations (also referred to as indirect restorations), which include crowns, bridges (fixed dentures), inlays, onlays, and veneers. In this chapter we will deal with the execution of dental crowns and dental bridges.
The execution of crowns and bridges requires the involvement of both the dentist and the dental technician (that is why they are called indirect restorations). Therefore, the procedures are also divided into two broad categories :
- Clinical stages: take place at the dental office with full patient participation
- Laboratory stages : take place at the dental laboratory and, in most of the cases, they are not visible to the patient
Note : Although fixed restorations supported by dental implants are also included in this class of prosthodontics, this particular chapter focuses on indirect reconstructions supported by natural teeth. Dental implants are extensively discussed in the next chapter.
What is important to remember ?
The construction of indirect dental restorations may involve some complex procedures that require patience and time. Patients should understand that in many cases several appointments are needed to complete these devices and the sessions might spread over a variable period of time.
Treatments should not be considered concluded after the restorations are definitively cemented. The care and maintenance measures are essential to ensure the best prognosis and long lifespan of these devices.
Last review and update: November 2020