Prosthodontic dentistry is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on restoring teeth and solving problems related to tooth loss or jaw issues. Prosthodontists have completed three additional years of advanced training in an ADA-accredited graduate program in prosthodontics, and are experts in the technical and technological aspects of the laboratory manufacture of complex dental prostheses and the complex restoration of dental and facial aesthetics. The main function of prosthodontists is to replace missing teeth with dental implants, dentures, dental crowns and bridges, or other restorative treatments. They use cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) to plan and place dental implants, and collaborate with all members of the dental team, including other specialized colleagues, general dentists, dental hygienists, and laboratory technicians.
Prosthodontics has evolved to its current form through the gradual assimilation of multiple different areas of dental practice. It emphasizes the diagnosis and treatment planning 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. The American Dental Association offers a convenient search function that allows patients to easily find local dentists who have completed an ADA-accredited advanced education program in prosthodontics. 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.