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Key Tooth Repair and Replacement Terms
There are many dental specialists who repair and replace damaged or missing teeth. A general dentist will be able to refer a patient to the correct specialist. Below are eight terms to know when dealing with tooth repair and replacement specialists.
Full Denture - A full set of removable, fake teeth that are worn by individuals missing all of their upper or lower teeth. Dentures improve chewing ability, appearance, and speech.
Partial Denture - A removable set of false teeth used by individuals missing some of their teeth on the top or bottom arch. Partial dentures have the same benefits of full dentures but for individuals who are not yet missing all of their teeth on an arch.
Denturist - A specialist who takes impressions of a patient's gums and jaw and then makes a set of removable teeth. Denturists also repair and realign their patient's dentures.
Endodontics - A dental specialty that focuses on the living tissues inside a tooth and the tissues surrounding the root. Dentists who specialize in endodontics perform procedures like root canals and treat cracked and damaged teeth.
Prosthodontist - A specialist who diagnoses and corrects conditions that cause missing or deficient teeth and oral tissues. A Prosthodontist restores and replaces teeth to improve function and appearance.
Crown - A cap the covers a tooth and is used to improve the strength or appearance of a tooth.
Extraction - The removal of a tooth because of decay, gum disease, damage, aesthetic reasons, or a lack of space. The most common type of extraction is the removal of impacted wisdom teeth.
Dental Implant - An object made to resemble the root of a tooth, placed within the jaw bone, which accepts the object as a tooth. Implants are often used to support crowns, which give the appearance of real teeth.
A denturist is an oral health technician who ensures that false teeth fit patients appropriately.
They work with dentists to handle the specific health needs of individuals who are missing some or all of their teeth. They may design both fixed and removable dentures. They also may take part of the role of a dental hygienist by advising on how to best keep dentures clean.
They both fit new dentures and repair or, if necessary, replace broken ones. Unlike a fully trained prosthodontist, they are not qualified to create and fit implants. However, removable dentures are often far more affordable.
Denturists advise on care, hygiene and toothpaste choice, and on things such as denture whitening. They do their best to ensure that dentures are cosmetically appropriate and fit correctly. Their services are covered for most insured individuals. For many individuals, finding a local denturist for a fitting is a cheaper option than going to their dentist or a prosthodontist.
Dentures may be full or partial. Many partial dentures, such as bridges, fasten to the existing teeth.
Denturists require various supplies for the making of false teeth. They purchase the teeth themselves, baking ovens, fixture glue and other supplies. While some denturists work in a dental office, others work independently with hygienists on their staff. This is often a more affordable option.
However, the legal situation of denturists varies from state to state. Some states do not license them at all, others have various requirements. For example, some states require that a license be obtained and publicly displayed.