Prosthodontics might not be a common term, but prosthodontic procedures are more common than you might think. If you need to visit a prosthodontist, there’s no need for concern. Here’s a look at what a prosthodontist does and why you may need to see one.
What is a Prosthodontist?
A Prosthodontist is one of the nine specialties in which a dentist can gain additional training. This type of dentist focuses on replacing teeth and restoring their appearance. Someone who studies prosthodontics receives extra training (two or three more years after dental school) on restoration procedures. These procedures include implants, TMD-jaw issues, traumatic mouth injuries, teeth anomalies, and more. During their education, prosthodontists study both clinical and surgical aspects of dentistry. They also participate in lab work and learn how to develop treatment plans for patients. It’s a rigorous course of study that prepares them for high-quality tooth restoration and replacement.
One of the most common prosthodontic procedures is a dental implant. Prosthodontists are experts in dental implants and can safely replace teeth to give you your smile back. They improve both the function and appearance of your teeth.
Why would you need a Prosthodontist?
There are several reasons you might need to see someone who specializes in this type of dental work. Here are a few:
1. You have severely damaged teeth
When you have damaged a tooth beyond repair, one of the solutions is to get a dental implant. In the procedure, a specialist places artificial tooth root in your jaw. The root keeps a crown in place, which replaces your tooth. If you’re missing multiple teeth, an implant can hold together a bridge. Like the crown, a bridge replaces the missing teeth. The procedure is far from simple and requires the expertise of someone with experience, like a prosthodontist.
2. You need an opinion
Prosthodontists have experience diagnosing a variety of oral issues. If your dentist believes that you may have a problem like TMJ, he may refer you to a prosthodontist for an evaluation.
In major cases that involve many different procedures, your dentist may consult a prosthodontist. Even when other specializations are required, prosthodontists often take the lead in the process and create the treatment plan.
3. You wear dentures
When you wear dentures and need work done, you will see a prosthodontist. They know how to work on dentures and how to install them properly. Dentures aren’t a one-time fix; they do need to be replaced and repaired. They may need to be relined, rebased, or adjusted. Fortunately, a specialist can fix any denture-related issue.
4. You want to improve your smile
Because they are experts in tooth restoration, prosthodontists are specialists who can improve your smile. If you have any concerns about the look of your teeth, this specialist can tell you what action you should take. He can evaluate your options and give you the care you need to get your smile restored.
5. You’re missing teeth
Anyone who is missing teeth should see a prosthodontist. He can determine whether you need implants or dentures and can do what needs to be done to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Both implants and dentures replace missing teeth, but they do so in different ways.
Dentures or implants can improve your speech, improve your smile, and improve your ability to eat. There are many different types of dentures, each one suitable for different situations.
Some of the factors that may influence which replacement method your specialist chooses include insurance, longevity, hygiene, and durability. You may need full dentures, partial dentures, implants, or implants with bridges. It all depends on your specific situation.
Why Prosthodontics Matters
Your smile is one of the first things people see about you, and you shouldn’t have to hide it. Prosthodontic procedures give people a chance to take back their smiles. While you may not even realize that you were hiding your smile, a missing or damaged tooth may limit your confidence. Getting a procedure like an implant can give you back your self-confidence. And it’s not an easy accomplishment.
Due to their difficulty, procedures like implants require more training than some other standard procedures. And prosthodontists are prepared for that. Their education focuses on more challenging procedures so they can handle even the most complicated scenarios.
Choosing a Prosthodontist
While all prosthodontists have been through rigorous schooling, it’s important that you choose the right specialist for you. Make sure to choose one who is certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics so you know that he is qualified. The board requires members to recertify every eight years, and you can take comfort in knowing that he is up-to-date on the latest procedures.
You should also look for a local prosthodontist who uses state-of-the-art equipment. An office with outdated equipment won’t be able to get the job done as well as one with the latest equipment. And most importantly, find one you trust.