Prosthodontics, is the branch of dentistry pertaining to the restoration and maintenance of oral functions, comfort, appearance, and health of the patient by the restoration of natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth and craniofacial tissues with artificial substitutes.
Current practice in the management of tooth loss involves consideration of various types of prostheses. Each type of prosthesis requires use of various remaining teeth and/or tissues, and consequently demands appropriate application of knowledge and critical thinking to ensure the best possible outcome given the patient’s needs and desires. Although more than one prosthesis could serve the needs of a patient, any prosthesis should meet the basic objectives of prosthodontic treatment, which includes:
(1) the elimination of oral disease to the greatest extent possible
(2) the preservation of the health and relationships of the teeth and the health of oral and paraoral structures, which will enhance the removable partial denture design
(3) the restoration of oral functions that are comfortable, esthetically pleasing, and do not interfere with the patient’s speech. It is critically important to emphasize that the preservation of health requires proper maintenance of dentures.