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Your Dentist Asked You to Go See a Prosthodontist. What Does That Mean?

Posted on: February 13th, 2024 | Categories: Prosthodontics

Have you ever been to the dentist only to be referred to another specialist called a prosthodontist? If you’re unsure about what this means or what to expect, you’re not alone. Many people are unfamiliar with the role of a prosthodontist and how they differ from general dentists. Let’s explore the world of prosthodontics, what prosthodontists do, and why your dentist might refer you to one.

What is a Prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the restoration and replacement of teeth. They undergo additional years of training, specializing in the diagnosis, treatment planning, and rehabilitation of patients with missing or damaged teeth. Essentially, prosthodontists. like the ones in our Auburn dental practice, are experts in restoring oral function, comfort, and aesthetics through various dental prostheses and procedures.

Differences Between Prosthodontists and General Dentists

While both prosthodontists and general dentists may overlap in terms of services performed and skillsets, they have different areas of expertise and focus. Here are some key differences between the two:

  • Specialization: Prosthodontists have additional years of advanced training specifically in restorative and prosthetic dentistry, whereas general dentists provide a broader range of dental services, including cleanings, fillings, and basic restorative work.
  • Complex Cases: Prosthodontists are typically called upon to handle more complex cases involving extensive tooth loss, jaw disorders, or facial deformities. They are equipped to design and implement comprehensive treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.
  • Advanced Procedures: Prosthodontists are skilled in performing advanced procedures such as dental implant placement, full-mouth reconstruction, and fabrication of comfortable dentures, crowns, bridges, and dental veneers. They utilize state-of-the-art techniques and materials to achieve optimal results.

Reasons Your Dentist Might Refer You to a Prosthodontist

There are several reasons why your dentist might recommend a consultation with a prosthodontist:

  • Complex Restorations: For complex cases involving the restoration of multiple damaged or compromised teeth, a prosthodontist can develop comprehensive treatment plans to restore function and aesthetics. These treatment plans can include a variety of dental procedures ranging from dental implants and crowns to dental veneers and bonding.
  • Dental Implants: Prosthodontists are experts in dental implant placement and restoration, including the surgical placement of implants and the design and fabrication of implant-supported prostheses such as crowns, bridges, and implant supported dentures. Most general dentists don’t have the knowledge to place a dental implant and even some that do recognize when a certain case is outside their skillset. A study even found that dental implants placed by specialists like prosthodontists and periodontists have a higher survival rate than those placed by general dentists.
  • Comfortable Fitting Denture: Whether you need new dentures, denture repairs, or adjustments, a prosthodontist can provide specialized care to ensure proper fitting dentures with great function, and aesthetics. A prosthodontist’s training gives them a wholistic understanding of the mouth and as a result enables them to create comfortable dentures.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry: If you’re seeking cosmetic enhancements to improve the appearance of your smile, such as veneers or crowns, a prosthodontist can help design and create natural-looking restorations to enhance your smile. With a more wholistic understanding of the mouth they can create a comprehensive treatment plan for a full smile makeover.

If you live in Auburn or Worcester and your dentist has recommended that you see a prosthodontist, we would love to welcome you to our practice. Your dentist believes you would benefit from the expertise and specialized care that prosthodontists provide and our team of prosthodontists would be glad to help. Whether you need to replace missing teeth, restore damaged teeth, or enhance your smile, our prosthodontists can help you achieve optimal oral health and function.

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The information presented here is not intended or implied to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should be used for informational purposes only.