While prosthodontics is often associated with treating patients who have suffered a severe loss of teeth due to diseases or accidents, the simple truth is that the overwhelming majority of prosthodontics cases are simple procedures. In fact, you’re probably familiar with many of them.
Here are the most common procedures used in prosthodontics:
Bridges are dental pieces that support a tooth replacement (or sometimes more than one tooth) and are attached to the natural teeth on each side of the replacement. Because this dental device fills a gap and is anchored on both sides, it forms a kind of “bridge.” In some cases, a bridge is attached to only one tooth due to specific circumstances, although this is not always possible.
While still popular in the U.S., bridges are being replaced by the more advanced dental implants in countries like Costa Rica, where the price of implants makes them accessible to many patients. However, bridges are still an option in cases where a patient doesn’t qualify for implants.
Crowns are used to restore the form and functionality of damaged teeth. For example, dental crowns are very commonly used after a root canal (endodontic therapy). They are molded and constructed to fill the shape of the cavity left after the treatment and to match the size, shape and color of the other teeth.
“Crowns come in different materials, each one with its unique advantages,” says Dr. Daniel Alfaro.
“Make sure that your dentist offer the latest high-quality crown materials to our patients, since the material greatly affects the duration, strength, and look of the crown. Since crowns usually last for life, we want you to have the best solution available.”
Dental implants are quickly gaining popularity because they deliver practically all the functionality of a natural tooth with very little special maintenance. They are used to replace missing teeth by inserting an implant made with special bio-compatible material into the jawbone where the missing tooth used to be. After a few weeks, the implant fuses with the bone and is ready to have a crown set on it. The end result means that the crown will have the strength and stability given by the jawbone.
Unfortunately, dental implants are extremely expensive in the US. Dental implants are one of the reasons that many American patients come to Costa Rica for dental care. In Costa Rica patients can receive affordable dental implants and return home with a genuinely beautiful smile.
In some cases, a patient may not be a candidate for more advanced solutions and require dentures to eat or speak. Many leading international dental clinics care for those patients and provide the best materials available for creating comfortable, natural looking, long-lasting dentures.
More Complex Procedures
Increasingly, more and more patients are choosing Costa Rica for more complex dental care. Most international clinics are prepared to provide advanced care for patients with trauma, cleft palate, temporomandibular joint disorder, and patients that have suffered damage due to surgical radiation in treatment of head or neck cancer.
If you feel you would benefit from a prosthodontic procedure, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page. A qualified dental specialist will contact you to discuss your case.