What Is A Dental Prosthesis?

Prosthetics and Prosthodontics (pronounced: ‘pross-do-dontics’) are specialities in dentistry concerned with finding solutions for missing or deficient teeth. A Prosthetist can provide you removable dentures and a Prosthodontist can provide you with Specialist care in what we call ‘Fixed Prosthodontics’. Treatment that involves covering and protecting teeth or uses dental implants to hold replacement teeth in place. A dental prosthesis or prosthodontic treatment can improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth as well as restore and enhance the function of your teeth.

Prosthetics and Prosthodontics is the art of creating natural looking teeth within the smile and includes veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, and implant retained restorations. Some of these procedures are permanently fixed to your mouth, and some are removable. Before deciding on a particular procedure, your Adelaide dentist will consider some aspects such as the number of the missing teeth, the condition of your existing teeth and the thickness of your jawbone to determine whether a removable prosthesis or fixed prosthodontics is more suitable for you and your particular dental situation.


Probably the most common of dental prosthesis. Dentures can be partial or full. Partial dentures can be used to replace one tooth or a few teeth. They are designed to clip onto or clasp against the remaining teeth to stay in place. They are a great option if you are looking for a cheaper replacement for teeth, however they do have their limitations. They can put extra load on remaining teeth as well as not being as sturdy in the mouth when eating or talking. Full dentures replace your complete set of teeth. Traditional complete dentures are removable and can provide you a fresh new smile. Full dentures rely on your saliva to hold them in as well as your surrounding gum and bone structure. These are also a cheaper option, and it’s important to know their limitations when making your decision. They can move around when eating or talking and can get food caught underneath them. It’s important to remove them nightly to ensure your gums stay in good health. Your hygienist or dentist can explain this all to you so you can make the most of them.


There are many names for this kind of restoration, caps, crowns, veneers, onlays/inlays, veneers ad all have their place in restoring function and or appearance. These types of restorations are generally used for teeth that need protection from a heavy bite or have a particularly large filling or crack. A crown or cap encompasses the tooth in a strong ceramic or zirconia type material and can protect from future fracture or wear. I like to think of a veneer much like a false nail, it can improve the appearance of your tooth, and it sits over the front of your teeth to enhance or improve the colour and shape or your natural teeth. Your Adelaide dentist can ensure a beautiful result by ensuring they assess your bite and advise whether veneers would be a suitable option for you. The desired result will complement the rest of your mouth, giving it synergy and complete your smile and bite. It can be very disappointing to have teeth covered only to see the end result does not match what you thought you were getting. To prevent this happening, ensure you ask to see photos of what your dentist has done for others and how might your result differ. Some dentists can even provide a ‘Trial Smile’ to show you what can be achieved before any changes are made. This can provide peace of mind and set your expectations for what to expect.


A bridge spans the gap between teeth to replace missing teeth much like a bridge spans the gap between 2 pieces of land. They rely on the teeth on either side of the gap to be hold it in. This is a great option to get a fast tooth replacement. It is important to know that the teeth that are used to hold the bridge require some preparation. The bridge can be made of material such as ceramic which gives a natural tooth effect. It’s great when your dentist can draw this out for you to explain the shape and function of a bridge. They can also show you pictures of bridges they have provided for other patients.

Implant supported Prosthesis or Prosthodontics

They are probably the most comprehensive and complicated type of dental restorations. Implants can be used to replace one or several teeth, permanently. Yes, you heard me, permanently. Dental implants are placed into the bone, just like the root of your tooth. It relies on the implant to hold the tooth/teeth in place. It is very difficult to describe and this is where you Adelaide Dentist/Specialist can show you real life examples of what it looks like and how it can work in your mouth. Again, careful diagnosis and planning will ensure your implants (and the teeth on top) are around for a long time. There are important things to consider if you are deciding to have a dental implant supported tooth/teeth. The cost of a good long term implant that is clinically proven and has studies to back it up is important so you have peace of mind. Regular maintenance is important. Dental Implants require a different kind of ‘cleaning’ as the surface of the implant and connections can become damaged and cause problems such as bleeding gums and even loss of bone. Your Hygienist or Dentist will explain all this to you so it makes sense and ensure to give you the right kind of instruction to get the most out of your dental implant. Much like a new car requires servicing so too does an implant to make sure it can last for the rest of your life. Knowing your Dentist is competent and confident in giving you’re a beautiful and predictable result will give you peace of mind that your mouth is (literally) in good hands.

In Summary

All types of dental prosthesis and prosthodontics are convenient and beneficial. If done by a skilled Adelaide Dentist, a dental prosthesis or prosthodontic dental treatment can improve your smile, bite, speech and even your confidence.

Today, Lidums Dental Adelaide is one of the most modern and comprehensively equipped dental centres nationwide. For over 35 years, Dr Arnis Lidums has provided specialist dental care to patients needing removable and fixed prosthodontic care. In 2010, a new site was designed to provide even more dental transformations here in Adelaide. Dr Lidums completed his Bachelor of Oral Science in 1989 and in 1995, completed his Masters degree in Prosthodontics. You can rest assured your dental prosthesis or prosthodontic procedure will exceed your expectations, especially when you see the results of other patients who have had similar treatment.

For a beautiful smile that is functional as well, contact us today!


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