Prosthodontists and orthodontists sometimes look like two sides of the same dental coin. Orthodontists have been said to treat problem teeth that are there, while prosthodontists treat problem teeth that no longer exist. It's a simplistic description, but it's a good start to understand what these two specialists are doing. Prosthodontics is the specialized field of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, planning and execution of restorative and cosmetic treatments.
Dentists who choose to specialize in prosthodontics must complete three or four more years of specialized training after dental school. The term “prosthesis” means replacement and “dontist” means dealing with teeth. Essentially, prosthodontists are THE recognized experts when anything in the mouth needs to be replaced. This can range from a single tooth, several teeth, or all of the teeth and gums in the mouth.
While many other dentists can perform some of these treatments, prosthodontists are the specialists dedicated to this type of care. Prosthodontists help restore or replace missing bridges, crowns, and teeth, as well as partial or full dentures. Rigorous training and experience gives prosthodontists a special understanding of the dynamics of a smile and the preservation of a healthy mouth. Most people are already familiar with orthodontists, but they only hear about prosthodontists while in their dentist's chair.
A dental laboratory technician is a trained professional who manufactures dental restorations, crowns, bridges, and dentures based on designs and instructions provided by a prosthodontist. A prosthodontist is, in essence, an architect who formulates a comprehensive treatment plan and informs the patient of what is possible. General dentists, orthodontists and prosthodontists share very similar skills, but there is a key difference. In addition to performing the treatments described above, the prosthodontist is also an expert in treating jaw problems (TMJ), relieving severe snoring, controlling sleep apnea, and reconstructing teeth after oral cancer treatments.
Prosthodontists are extensively trained in cutting-edge techniques and procedures to treat complex dental conditions and restore optimal function and aesthetics. The American College of Prosthodontists is the organization of dentists with advanced specialized training who create optimal oral health, both in function and appearance, including dental implants, dentures, veneers, crowns and teeth whitening. Prosthodontists also specialize in reconstructing other parts of the mouth and often perform reconstructive surgery on parts of the mouth that have been damaged by cleft palate, cancer, TMJ, or other jaw problems. A board-certified prosthodontist has successfully passed a rigorous examination by the American Board of Prosthodontics.
When you're ready to tackle those great dental procedures, only Houston's most trained prosthodontists will. Choose a prosthodontist because of their advanced education and training, efficiency, and experience with advanced technology.