What is a Prosthodontist? The Benefits of Restorative Dentistry
A Prosthodontist focuses on the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth. Prosthodontists also treat other mouth, face, and jaw issues.
Ancient cultures around the world experimented with tooth replacement methods, often with mixed results. Thankfully, by the 20th century, the processes used to create and install dental appliances became more standardized, and the National Society of Denture Prosthetics, known today as the Academy of Prosthodontics, was formed.
Prosthodontists continue to improve their craft today, as the available materials, technology, and techniques improve each year. With leading "oral architects" Dr. Huang and Dr. Chi on staff, PearlFection Dentistry in Frederick, MD and Urbana, MD provides unmatched convenience and expertise for patients in need of dental prosthetics and other advanced restorative or cosmetic treatments.
What is a Prosthodontist?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) definition, a prosthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes (prostheses)
Denture Specialists vs Regular Dentist
Although many general dentists also include tooth replacement and cosmetic dentistry in their practice, prosthodontists are recognized as the experts due to their extensive education, training, and experience. The prosthodontist also works closely with a qualified dental lab, where skilled technicians combine art and science to create realistic crowns, dentures, and bridges to match a patient's natural smile.
What does a Prosthodontist do?
For most prosthodontists, the primary focus is on tooth replacement (restorative dentistry), although they also diagnose and treat a variety of health issues including sleep apnea, cleft palates, and other congenital or trauma-related facial issues.
Options for replacing missing or damaged teeth
Restorative dentistry includes basic crowns, veneers, and bridges along with dentures and dental implants.
Other treatments and procedures performed by prosthodontists
Types of Dental Implants
No matter the cause, the loss of natural teeth can be traumatic. More than 300,000 people in the U.S. alone receive a new dental implant each year. Fortunately, implant technology has improved dramatically and the options for patients have expanded.
Commonly used endosteal type implants consist of a screw-like (usually titanium) post that is secured to the jawbone. An abutment segment attached to the implant holds the realistic porcelain crown in place.
Becoming a Prosthodontist
Becoming a prosthodontist requires many years of dedicated study and training. After completing a bachelor's degree, four additional years of dental school are needed to obtain a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) degree and board certification as a dentist.
Competitive residency programs for prosthodontics admit very few students and maintain high standards and expectations during the three years of intense training. Third year residents are likely to see patients five days a week and perform their own dental lab work at night. Critical thinking, decision making, and active learning are some of the traits that lead to successful completion of residency and board accreditation from the American Board of Prosthodontics (ABP).
Despite these challenging requirements, elite prosthodontics, including Dr. Huang and Dr. Chi of PearlFection Dentistry, choose to further their educational journey. While Dr. Chi went on to pursue his Maxillofacial Prosthetics fellowship, Dr. Huang now educates a new generation of prosthodontists as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Maryland Dental School.
Choosing a Prosthodontist
Consultation with a general dentist is good first step in deciding whether you need restorative dental treatment, and if so, which option is best for you. Having all dental specialties under one roof makes it easy for the team at PearlFection Dentistry to provide convenient, highly rated, and board-certified prosthodontist options. In some cases, the prosthodontist might also be working with an oral surgeon and periodontist;
If you have lost a tooth (or teeth) to decay, infection, or injury, a prosthodontist can restore both your smile and your bite. The dentists and specialists at PearlFection Dentistry are here to help. Call us at (301) 663-5550 to set up a consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions that you have.
R Stewart Stringer
Page Updated Last on: Oct 22, 2022