What is the Difference Between a Prosthodontist and a General Dentist?

Learn about the difference between prosthodontists & general dentists - their credentials & education, specialization & more.

What is the Difference Between a Prosthodontist and a General Dentist?

The biggest difference between a prosthodontist and a general dentist is that a prosthodontist specializes in replacing teeth and restoring oral health and function throughout the mouth. General dentists, on the other hand, focus on repairing teeth and ensuring they stay healthy. A prosthodontist is a type of specialist who has more specific functions than a general dentist. While a general dentist can perform filling procedures and installing implants, a prosthodontist only deals with implants and replacement.

This means that prosthodontist services can lead to better and more comfortable results, and they are often referred by a general dentist in complex scenarios. It is important to note that you cannot access general dentistry services at a prosthodontist. The credentials and education of a prosthodontist are what sets them apart from cosmetic dentists. The journey of a prosthodontist and a general dentist may start in the same place, but their destinations are very diverse.

There are many differences between the two, but the biggest difference is that the former deals with replacing or extracting teeth, essentially anything that needs to be replaced in the mouth. There are approximately 3,500 practice prosthodontists in the country, compared to 195,722 general dentists. So what is a prosthodontist and how is this type of dentist different from a general dentist? Why are they called specialists and what do they specialize in? In short, prosthodontists are highly specialized cosmetic dentists with professional training in restorative dental procedures. 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. A prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed dental school plus at least three additional years of advanced training and education in a CODA-accredited prosthodontic graduate program. While some procedures overlap, others are performed almost exclusively by a prosthodontist or cosmetic dentist.

A prosthodontist also differs from a cosmetic dentist in that they are often responsible for leading teams of dental specialists in a coordinated care effort. A prosthodontist can play the role of the primary dentist for conditions that have a variety of dental needs.

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