Prosthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on replacing missing or damaged teeth. It is one of the twelve dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow, the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Australasia. Common prosthodontic treatments include dentures, dental implants, crowns and bridges. After graduating from dental school, a prosthodontist receives an additional three years of training in the field of their choice.
Replacing missing or damaged teeth is important for many reasons. Not only are spaces in your smile embarrassing, but they also put you at risk for other dental problems, such as alignment issues, bone loss, and problems with eating and speaking. Understanding your prosthetic options can help you decide which treatments can help you regain optimal oral health and smile with confidence. If you've never lost a tooth or needed a crown, you've probably never visited a prosthodontist.
Prosthodontists are trained medical professionals who specialize in treating a variety of oral problems and providing specialized care tailored to each patient's particular dental needs. The goal is always to restore optimal oral health and function, as well as aesthetic restoration. Prosthodontics focuses on treating patients with a variety of oral health needs related to the lack or malformation of teeth, structures, or tissues of the jaw or mouth. This includes fillings, dentures, veneers, crowns, bridges and dental implants and any combination of treatments to restore lost or damaged teeth.
Prosthodontists are also trained in the technical and technological aspects of the laboratory manufacture of complex dental prostheses and the complex restoration of dental and facial aesthetics. The application of dental implant therapy to patients with prosthodontic needs has been one of the greatest individual advances in this field. Prosthodontics continues to evolve as a dental specialty and it is expected that the services provided by the specialty will continue to be valuable to the profession and the public. The most common reasons you might seek out a prosthodontic specialist with implants are if you are not satisfied with a removable prosthesis such as dentures, if you have lost an entire tooth (including the root) due to injury or illness, if you have lost several teeth and want to have a bridge and similar dental health needs.
American College of Prosthodontists (FACP) fellows must have a degree in dentistry, have completed three years of specialized training in prosthodontics and be certified by the ABP. To successfully manage these patient needs, prosthodontists collaborate with all members of the dental team including other specialized colleagues, general dentists, dental hygienists and laboratory technicians. Prosthodontics emphasizes diagnosing and planning the treatment of patients who have complex dental needs and on providing treatment services that primarily involve repairing or replacing natural teeth with a variety of fixed or removable prosthetic options.