If you’ve never lost a tooth or needed a crown, then you might not even have heard of a prosthodontist, let alone visited one. Prosthodontistry is a dentistry specialty focusing on restoration and missing teeth. These trained medical professionals, who provide prosthodontist services, treat a variety of oral issues, and provide specialized care that suits each patient’s particular dental needs.
1. What is a prosthodontist?
Prosthodontists focus on a specific area of dentistry and restoration, while dentists do all the basics associated with keeping your teeth functional and healthy. A dentist will often refer you to a prosthodontist for work that’s outside general dentistry. Think of the distinction the way you imagine the difference between your family doctor and an orthopaedist.
2. They help address both aesthetic and functional concerns
Like other dentists, prosthodontists can help solve problems that have to do with appearance, in addition to less visible issues related to functionality. Along with fixing dental problems so that you have a functional bite, prosthodontists also work to ensure that your teeth look natural and attractive. Generally, you see a prosthodontist if you need dentures or are having a prosthetic tooth inserted into a spot where you lost a tooth.
3. Everyone’s teeth are different, and prosthodontists offer highly specialized care
In our modern society, oral deterioration and loss of teeth are often the consequence of dental cavities and gum disease. Although seen on a much less frequent basis, other causes could include oral cancer, trauma and behavioral conditions such as teeth grinding. If left untreated, usually this conditions will only continue to get worse and can leave a patient not only with a less than desirable smile, but even compromised chewing function, psychological discomfort and negatively affect quality of life.
4. They offer tooth reconstruction of all types
Regardless of what the initial cause it, when you’ve had damage to your teeth because of trauma, decay, or other factors, a prosthodontist can help. They perform root canals, crowns, dentures, and porcelain veneers. Prosthodontists can also use bonding agents to change the shape of your teeth. You might get this procedure to close a small gap between your teeth, to reshape a misshapen tooth, or to change the appearance of your smile in some other way.
5. In the case of lost teeth
If you’ve lost one or more teeth, a prosthodontist might choose a bridge as the best tooth replacement method for your case. A bridge is one or more crowns linked together to create a single unit. It works by being secured to the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap, leaving you with an appearance of nothing but a flawless smile. Of course these types of specialized alternatives to natural teeth require special care and need to be cleaned regularly.
Implants are also an option for replacing missing teeth. In this case, a prosthodontist will create a dental implants for you which consists of a titanium post and a false tooth. The titanium post is fused with your jaw bone, which creates a stable and lifelike false tooth that’s difficult to tell apart from your other teeth.
6. Think of the Prosthodontist as your “oral architect”
The prosthodontist’s role as the architect of the dental team means that they develop treatment plans and work alongside all the other different dental and medical specialists involved in maintaining the health of their patient. They’re care is a two component process. They will provide diagnosis, treatment planning and prevention, as well as the actual dental treatment and implementing solutions.
Due to the fact that they have additional training and education, prosthodontists offer a broad insight and can diagnose and solve oral health problems very efficiently. Identification of the cause of oral deterioration is a key element to any dental treatment in order to stop the progression of disease, minimize its impact on the oral environment, develop an effective treatment strategy and prevent future recurrence.