The Dentist From a Child' Point of View

Understanding Prosthodontics

Many people have a basic understanding of general dentistry and family dentistry. However, some dental specialties, such as prosthodontics, may be less familiar.

Here is a bit of information about prosthodontics to help you better understand this area of dentistry.

What Exactly Is Prosthodontics?

Prosthodontics is an American Dental Association-recognized area of dentistry that involves the treatment of people with missing or inadequate teeth or who have problems with the maxillofacial and oral tissues. The specialty focuses on the proper diagnosis, selection of treatment, and rehabilitative actions required to maintain the functionality, look, comfort, and health of the mouth. 

Does a Dentist Who Specializes in Prosthodontics Have a Special Name?

A dentist who specializes in prosthodontics is called a prosthodontist. In order to specialize in this area of dentistry, after finishing dental college, the dentist must complete three more years of prosthodontic schooling and training through a graduate program that is approved by the American Dental Association. The dentist becomes board-certified after successfully completing a special prosthodontics examination. Additionally, to remain board-certified, the prosthodontist must be re-certified periodically.

When Are You Referred to a Prosthodontist?

You may be referred to a prosthodontist whenever you need to have some of your teeth or gingival tissue replaced. However, these specialists often lead other dentists in the preparation of an adequate treatment plan to meet your needs, so there may already be a prosthodontist at your local dental office.

What Are Some of the Dental Services Offered by a Prosthodontist?

In addition to general dental procedures, a prosthodontist is highly educated in the placement and fabrication of the following:

  1. Dental bridges. A dental bridge is made up of one or more false teeth and dental crowns. The false teeth replace the patient's missing teeth, and the crowns are bonded to abutment teeth to fix the bridge in the mouth.
  2. Dental implants. A dental implant is used to replace the roots of a tooth that has been lost. The implant is inserted into the jawbone through the gums where it stabilizes through osseointegration. The implant may be covered by a crown to replace a single tooth or used to stabilize other appliances, such as dentures.
  3. Dental Crowns. Crowns are restorative, protective applications that cover the natural crown of a tooth. 
  4. Dentures. Dentures are removable appliances that are generally used to replace a large number of missing teeth.

The prosthodontics specialist is also trained to treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ)  problems. 

If you have missing teeth or TMJ issues, schedule an appointment with a prosthodontist in your local area, like those at Nova Premier Dental.