Prosthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on replacing damaged or missing teeth. It is a collaborative discipline, requiring the expertise of both prosthodontists and periodontists to ensure successful prosthetic outcomes. Prosthodontic treatment plans are designed to meet the individual needs of patients of all ages, from those with missing teeth to those with temporomandibular joint pain. Before definitive prosthodontic treatment can be implemented, it is often necessary to evaluate and correct any pre-existing conditions in the dentition.
This is referred to as “phase 1” and is essential for improving the outcome of the prosthodontic treatment plan. The periodontist can identify a patient's periodontal strengths and limitations, allowing the prosthodontist to take responsibility for a given treatment plan based on a mutual understanding of the critical factors involved. Prosthodontic treatments are designed to restore the function, health, and aesthetics of the patient's mouth. This includes replacing missing teeth, correcting an “abnormal” bite, and providing relief from temporomandibular joint pain.
Prosthodontists must be aware of the periodontal implications of gingival displacement procedures and tooth preparation, as well as the types of gingival tissues, bone topography, and occlusal effects that may affect the choice of abutment. By working together, prosthodontists and periodontists can ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Prosthodontic treatments are designed to restore function, health, and aesthetics to the mouth, allowing patients to enjoy a healthy smile for years to come.