Who is a prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist specialising in treating complex dental and facial matters, including restoration and replacement of missing or damaged teeth with artificial devices. Prosthodontists are highly trained in dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures and even jaw disorders. Additionally, they specialise in cosmetic dentistry that has been on the rise over the last few years. These types of dentists have a careful understanding of the dynamics of a smile and the preservation of a healthy mouth.
What does a prosthodontist do?
Prosthodontists specialise in repairing natural teeth and in the replacement of missing ones. Missing and extracted teeth are replaced with dentures, dental implants, caps or crowns. There are specially trained prosthodontists that work with people who have deformities on their head and neck. They replace missing parts of the jaw and the face.
Education, training and qualification
Although prosthodontists have background training in dentistry, they have advanced training in the field of aesthetic restoration and replacement of teeth. This additional training involves completing three additional years of study after dental school and undergraduate school. To become a prosthodontist, you will have to complete the following process;
- Bachelor’s degree
- Dental school
- The National Board Dental Examinations to become a licensed Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD)
- Three-year residency and education through an ADA-approved prosthodontic graduate program
- Board of Prosthodontics Certification Examination
Reasons to see a prosthodontist
There are several reasons why you should visit a prosthodontist. Some of the reasons include an accident involving the mouth, a congenital or birth-related condition, or even cosmetic reasons. Some traditional dentists can provide these services as well, but prosthodontists are extensively trained in these techniques and procedures and for treating complex dental conditions. The services that a prosthodontist specialise in include the following;
Jaw, sleep and snoring issues
If you want to fix temporomandibular problems or disorders or if you want to address sleep or snoring issues, the person to see is a prosthodontist. If you do not know, the temporomandibular area of the body includes the muscles and the joints around the jaw. Issues concerning these areas are mostly referred to as TMJ by most people. Problems with this area are most noticeable when yawning, chewing, or sleeping. Through the prosthodontist, you can work through the problem and get the right treatment.
Denture implant fit and placement
Prosthodontists specialise in the proper fit and placement of crowns, bridges and removable dentures. They will first assess the current situation and condition of your gums and jawbone to determine the best size and shape before designing one to those specifications.
Traumatic injury repairs
If you have traumatic injuries to parts of your face like your mouth and teeth, see a prosthodontists for repairs.
Oral cancer reconstruction
Oral cancer can be treated with surgery to remove any cancerous growth. A prosthodontist can perform a surgery known as oral cancer reconstruction surgery to address and correct any cosmetic concerns.
What to expect when you visit the prosthodontist
In some cases, your dentist may refer you to a specialist known as a prosthodontist. When you go for your appointment, know that it will be different from your normal dental appointments. This is because you are seeing a specialist to deal with an issue bothering you about your look or the function of your teeth or mouth. Depending on your reason for going, there are a couple of things that may be involved. Some of them include;
Dental history and exam
You will have to be ready to discuss your dental history and anything that has affected the current condition of your teeth with the prosthodontist. They will hear your concerns about any dental issue and then proceed to perform a thorough examination. After the examination, if you require a more complex procedure like dental implants or dentures, you will expect to have additional appointments in the process.
The prosthodontist will assess the current condition of your gums and jawbone to determine the best possible size and shape of the implant you should receive. They will then proceed to design the implants using those specifications.
Although some of the duties of a prosthodontist can be handled by a general dentist, it will always be better to see a specialist who has undergone extra training in such a field. If your condition requires a prosthodontist, your dentist will help you recommend one. Also, you can contact us at Smile Clinic London for recommendations.