Patient demand for dental restorations with a natural esthetic has increased considerably over the past few decades. This is partially due to greater interest in and awareness of cosmetic dentistry. For many years, clinicians used PFM crowns and bridges to provide patients with durable, long-lasting restorations that offered reasonable esthetics. However, although still a popular option, the opacity of the PFM materials cannot always satisfy esthetic demands.
- Hawley retainers are a popular option for patients to wear following the completion of orthodontic treatment. The basic design of a Hawley retainer includes a labial bow fitted from cuspid to cuspid that retains the position of the anterior teeth.
Although dental implants are an increasingly popular treatment for restoring dentition in completely edentulous patients, not everyone desires or is suitable for this procedure. Conventional dentures still provide a predictable treatment outcome or may be required to help patients transition from dentures to implant-retained prostheses.
A zirconia screw-retained bridge is a popular choice for clinicians who wish to provide patients with the most ideal esthetics. This type of restoration offers several advantages. One of the most appealing qualities of this bridge is its easy retrievability. An easily retrievable restoration is a good solution if the patient is likely to require regular maintenance or removal of the bridge for professional cleaning. Additionally, zirconia attracts less plaque, making it easier for the patient to maintain good oral hygiene and healthy implants. Zirconia screw-retained bridges are CADCAM designed and milled, which eliminates casting distortion and offers a predictable, precision-fitting appliance.
The Lucia Jig is a technique that allows clinicians to obtain an accurate bite registration by stabilizing the mandible in a harmonious position. This position is essential to the dental laboratory’s ability to accurately fabricate an appliance that needs occlusal coverage.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFMs) have been successfully used for many years, providing clinicians with reliable, esthetically pleasing, and long-lasting restorations. However, over the past few years, an increasing number of clinicians are choosing zirconia restorations. The number of PFM crowns requested by clinicians is lower compared with all-ceramic and zirconia restorations. Some dentists use zirconia or all-ceramic restorations almost exclusively, particularly when restoring only a single unit. The switch from one material to another has been relatively quick, so there is little long-term research into the reliability of zirconia restorations. By comparison, PFMs have been used successfully for over 60 years, and their durability has been extensively evaluated.
Dental implants are increasingly regarded as the standard treatment for partial or complete edentulism. When correctly used, dental implants provide a high level of predictability and can be utilized in a range of treatment options. Although dental implants can present a long-term solution for tooth loss, it’s possible for complications to arise, sometimes years after the implants were originally placed. Peri-implant disease is a common complication.
Implant-supported restorations are either screw-retained or cement-retained. While screw-retained restorations offer easier retrievability, the screw access hole can affect esthetics. Additional problems with screw-retained restorations include screw loosening and issues with achieving a passive fit. In comparison, cement-retained restorations are generally less expensive, as they require fewer components and less chair-side time.
Despite improved dental care over the past few decades, edentulism is still common among elderly patients. Complete edentulism, which is often a consequence of caries, poor oral hygiene, and periodontal disease, has a detrimental effect on the patient’s oral and general health and overall sense of well-being.