What is a Prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth. Prosthodontists restore optimum appearance and function to your smile.
Prosthodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) and is the area of dentistry that focuses on dental prosthetics. The ADA has defined Prosthodontics as “the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.” The ADA does not recognize Cosmetic dentistry as a dental speciality. Prosthodontics is the only dental speciality under which the concentration of cosmetic/esthetic dentistry falls.
A prosthodontist has three years of rigorous training in several areas of restorative dentistry, including dental implants, crowns, bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, esthetics, occlusion, and facial and dental birth developmental defects. Prosthodontists are also trained in the technical and technological aspects of laboratory fabrication of complex dental prosthetics and complex restoration of dental and facial esthetics. Maxillofacial Prosthetics is a branch of prosthodontics that requires one additional year of fellowship training with a focus on treatment of patients who have acquired and congenital defects of the head and neck region due to cancer, surgery, trauma, and birth defects.
Prosthodontics has an emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment planning of patients who have complex dental needs and on providing treatment services that primarily involve the repair or replacement of natural teeth with a variety of fixed or removable prosthetic options. Increased patient demand for esthetic services and for implant-supported prostheses has caused an increased emphasis on these types of procedures in prosthodontic training programs and practices. To successfully manage these patient needs, prosthodontists collaborate with all members of the dental team, including other specialty colleagues, general dentists, dental hygienists, and laboratory technicians. Through consultation and collaboration with the dental team, prosthodontists provide patients with a customized treatment plan and alternative options, with associated advantages, disadvantages, prognosis, risks, and time involved. A prosthodontist is the quarterback of a dental treatment plan.