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What is a Prosthodontist?

A Prosthodontist is a specialized type of Dentist. Also known as: Maxillofacial Prosthodontist, Prosthetic Dentist.

The term “prostho” means replacement and “dontist” means dealing with teeth. A prosthodontist is someone who restores the look, function, comfort, and health of a patient's oral cavity with artificial materials. These artificial materials are made up of a wide variety of restorations that include fillings, dentures, veneers, crowns, bridges and oral implants. They are used by the prosthodontist in order to replace missing teeth, restore damaged teeth, anchor dentures/bridges/crowns with dental implants, and improve the patients’ dental and facial esthetics.

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, a prosthodontist is a dentist who:
- Specializes in the aesthetic (cosmetic) restoration and replacement of teeth
- Receives three to four years of additional training after dental school
- Restores optimum appearance and function to your smile

What does a Prosthodontist do?

Oral deterioration and loss of teeth are often the result of cavities, gum disease (periodontal disease), teeth grinding, and oral cancer. Any of these issues can leave a patient with difficulty in chewing and with psychological discomfort, which will negatively affect their quality of life. A prosthodontist is THE recognized expert when anything needs to be replaced in the mouth, which can range from a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth and gums in the mouth.

Sometimes described as the "oral architect” of the dental team, prosthodontists develop treatment plans and combine other oral treatments with dental/medical specialists and general dentists in order to give full care to patients. They, along with the other specialists, will diagnose and plan a treatment for the patient, such as fillings, dentures, crowns, veneers, implants, bridges, splints, night guards, and cosmetic procedures. People are now living longer and retaining more of their own teeth, and prosthodontists play a key role in helping their patients maintain an attractive appearance.

Types of Procedures:

Restoration of damaged teeth - there are various ways that teeth can get damaged, such as in the case of cavities, teeth grinding, the reduction of salivary flow, exposure of teeth to acid, trauma, and failing restorations. Each patient's concerns are different, and treatment could range from minor to comprehensive treatment. Services can include crowns, veneers, and fillings.

Replacing missing teeth - various options are available, such as a complete set of dentures, a removable partial denture, implants, a fixed bridge, and other alternatives. Prosthodontists work closely with dental technicians to make sure that each custom-made prosthesis looks good and is comfortable for the patient.

Oral implants - are a possible alternative to conventional tooth replacement options. Dental implants offer patients great advantages, and this biotechnology is rapidly becoming the treatment option for individuals who are missing some or all of their teeth.

Aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry - Prosthodontics and cosmetics go hand in hand. Whether it is a single restoration or a more complicated rehabilitation, there is always a common factor: the artificial parts have to combine flawlessly with the surrounding oral environment, as well as be functional and comfortable. Prosthodontists excel in whitening and bonding techniques, colour matching, using veneers to reshape teeth, and knowing how to precisely place fixed prostheses such as crowns and bridges.

Complex cases - included in a prosthodontist's training is an in-depth knowledge when it comes to the relationship between teeth and jaws, and what is necessary for a proper bite. Prosthodontists, along with other specialists, provide treatment for patients with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), a cleft palate, and any complicated injuries.

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What is the workplace of a Prosthodontist like?

The workplace of a prosthodontist is very similar to a dental office and can also be in a dental hospital. These environments tend to be typical clinical environments - clean and sterile. For complex restorations, prosthodontists work with other physicians, including facial plastic surgeons and ear, nose, and throat physicians to provide overall reconstructive care for patients damaged by trauma, injury or illness.



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Further Reading

  • Get the Truth about Prosthodontics and Dental Credentials www.findyourprosthodontist.com

    Every year, more and more people choose prosthodontics for their restorative dentistry. However, there is still some confusion about what prosthodontists actually do.

  • Prosthodontists Vs. Periodontists work.chron.com

    In a nutshell, periodontists deal with the tissues surrounding the teeth and prosthodontists make and fit dentures, bridges and similar appliances for people who have missing teeth.

  • What is a Prosthodontist? www.dent.umich.edu

    Many like to think of Prosthodontists as the "quarterback" of a dental treatment plan. They regularly lead teams of general dentists, specialists, and other health professionals to develop solutions for your dental needs.

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