Prosthodontics is a specialized form of dental care that focuses on the restoration, replacement, and enhancement of teeth. It is a field of dentistry that is dedicated to restoring and replacing teeth that have been damaged, missing, or decayed.
Prosthodontists are highly trained professionals who are experts in maximizing oral health and restoring and replacing teeth to a natural and aesthetic look. From dental crowns and bridges to dentures and implants, prosthodontists provide a variety of treatments to restore your smile.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about prosthodontics and what a prosthodontist does.
Table of Contents
Who is a prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the dental care of teeth. They are highly trained and specialize in advanced dental procedures that are designed to restore, repair, and enhance your smile.
For example, after a tooth has been removed, a prosthodontist can create a dental crown to protect the remaining teeth in that area of the mouth. They can also create false teeth, such as dental bridges and dentures.
Additionally, prosthodontists can perform procedures such as dental implants and gum grafts to improve the health of your gums and jaw. As this list shows, the services and procedures provided by a prosthodontist are extensive and diverse.
What services do prosthodontists provide?
- Dental crowns – Dental crowns are caps that are placed over teeth to restore their shape and function. They are commonly used to restore teeth after they have been weakened by gum disease or dental cavities.
- Dental bridges – A dental bridge is a way to replace one tooth with two dental crowns on either side of the missing tooth.
- Dental implants – Dental implants are metal tooth roots that are placed in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. They are the gold standard for dental implant restorations because they are the most reliable, long-lasting, and natural-looking option.
- Dental veneers – Dental veneers are thin porcelain coverings that are placed on teeth to improve their appearance. They are often used to cover teeth that are discolored or misaligned.
- Dentures – A denture is a removable dental appliance that replaces missing teeth. It is a common prosthodontic treatment for patients who have lost all of their teeth.
- Implant retained overdentures – An overdenture is a fixed dental bridge that is attached to implants instead of natural teeth.
- Gum grafts – A gum graft is a procedure that uses healthy gum tissue to repair and strengthen damaged gum tissue. Gum grafts are often used to treat gum disease, which can affect the health of teeth and the jawbone.
What is the difference between a prosthodontist and a general dentist?
A general dentist is a dentist who provides general dental care, such as routine cleanings, dental fillings, and dental extractions. They do not specialize in advanced procedures, such as dental crowns and dental implants.
In contrast, a prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed an additional two-year residency program in prosthodontics. During this time, they focus exclusively on advanced dental procedures and how to use these procedures to create a natural-looking smile. As a result, a prosthodontist is highly-skilled and trained in a wide range of treatments and procedures that a general dentist is not trained or licensed to perform.
Prosthodontists are often referred to as “dental specialists” or “dental specialists in advanced restorative dentistry.” They are trained in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental disorders that affect the teeth and surrounding soft tissues.
What are the benefits of prosthodontics?
Prosthodontic dental procedures provide many benefits, including:
Better oral health and hygiene – Many prosthodontic treatments are designed to improve the health and hygiene of your gums and teeth. For example, dental crowns and gum grafts can prevent teeth from decaying. In addition, dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth and improve oral hygiene.
Improved appearance – Many prosthodontic procedures are done to improve the appearance of your teeth. For example, dental crowns are used to cover and reshape teeth that are discolored or misshapen. Meanwhile, dental veneers are used to cover teeth and create a more uniform appearance.
Increased self-confidence – Having a healthy smile that looks natural and beautiful can significantly impact a person’s self-confidence. As a result, the benefits of prosthodontic treatments extend beyond oral health and hygiene.
What is the process of prosthodontic treatment?
Prosthodontic dental treatments are often complex and may involve several steps, including:
Diagnosis and treatment planning – Before treatment begins, the prosthodontist conducts a comprehensive dental examination. They will also ask you about your medical history and lifestyle. During this time, the prosthodontist will also take specific diagnostic impressions and X-rays. Once the examination and diagnostic impressions are complete, the prosthodontist can begin to create a treatment plan. The treatment plan outlines the procedures and treatments that you will need. It also includes your expected treatment duration and total cost.
Restorative treatment – Many prosthodontic treatments are restorative, which means they restore the function of teeth or soft tissues. For example, dental crowns, dental implants, and gum grafts are restorative treatments because they restore the function of teeth. Meanwhile, dental veneers are often aesthetic, which means they are used to improve the appearance of teeth.
Periodontal maintenance and hygiene – After restorative dental procedures are complete, it is important to maintain your oral hygiene. You can do this by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and scheduling regular dental cleanings.
In addition, the dental treatments and surgeries used in the prosthodontic process can cause your gums to become inflamed. Therefore, it is important to see a dentist regularly and follow their instructions for keeping your gums healthy.
Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry are a small team of experienced dentists in Stuart, Florida. They provide prosthodontincs, general dentistry and dental hygiene services to the communities of Treasure Coast.