Crowns, Bridges, Dentures, Implants Overview
Most of us are familiar with dental specialists such as orthodontists and periodontists, but there’s another specialist that might not be so familiar – the prosthodontist. Prosthodontists are dentists who specialize in the repair and replacement of teeth. In addition to dental school, prosthodontists participate in another 2-3 years of specialized training. Prosthodontists want to make you look and feel your best. They do this by replacing broken or worn teeth or even the jaw bone with natural-looking substitutes (or prosthetics.) Missing teeth or a misshapen jaw can have a direct impact on a person’s self-esteem. Prosthodontists understand this and work with the patient to restore the natural shape of the jaw and tooth structure.
Prosthodontists take a “whole mouth” approach to dental care and are at the forefront of cutting-edge procedures. They have the special skills needed to restore smiles to the best they can be. They don’t just help your mouth look better, they help it feel better – both now and for years to come.
Prosthodontists care for a variety of patients, including people needing teeth and jaw replacement after oral cancer; cleft palette; children born with missing teeth; problems with the jaw’s joints; and even snoring and sleep disorders.
Areas of expertise which prosthodontists may have are:
- Esthetic Dentistry
- Reconstructive Dentistry
- Replacing Missing Teeth
- Maxillofacial Prosthetics
- TMD Joint Pain
A healthy smile is extremely important, impacting a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Cosmetic/esthetic dentistry procedures used to create that healthy smile include:
- Placing complete ceramic esthetic crowns or “caps” onto teeth
- Placing veneers onto teeth to conceal defects
- Using bonding technology on a tooth’s surface to change its shape or to close unwanted gaps
- Bleaching discolored teeth to brighten and whiten a smile
Another way prosthodontists create your perfect smile is by replacing lost teeth. The loss of natural teeth can be traumatic, affecting a person’s outlook on life and turning simple pleasures into stressful experiences. Several options for lost teeth exist:
- Full or partial dentures
- Dental implants
Dental implants are successful for a wide variety of patients. They look, feel, and function just like natural teeth and can replace one tooth or many. Dental implants are healthier for the mouth, preventing bone loss by keeping the jaw active. Once a lengthy process, dental implants are quicker and easier than ever before, now requiring just a few days rather than months to complete.
Prosthodontists have a unique understanding of the dynamics of a smile, the preservation of a healthy mouth and the creation of tooth replacement. Not sure whether you should seek out the specialized care of a prosthodontist? You should go to a Prosthodontist if you:
- Have complex needs
- Demand high esthetic results
- Need someone to oversee a procedure with more than one specialist
- Want someone who has undergone rigorous training
Prosthodontics is one of only nine recognized specialties of the American Dental Association.
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