When you need help with an issue related to your teeth, you go to the dentist. Dentists are trained to handle a wide range of oral problems and can give you the help you need in the majority of situations. If a general dentist can help you with most of your oral issues that arise, why are there dental specialties such as prosthodontics? There are nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association and each one serves patients in a unique way. Dentists who choose to specialize in one of these areas receive advanced specialty training beyond the standard four years of dental school. This extra training maximizes the level of care that the dentist can provide patients and allows the dentist to take on even the most complicated of cases. Prosthodontics focuses on creating optimal oral health in both function and appearance. Two of the ways that prosthodontists help patients obtain optimal function and appearance is by providing tooth replacement and repair options.
Asses you for dental implants
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, a prosthodontist can assess you for dental implants. There are a number of factors that go into deciding if you are a good candidate for implants. The condition of your gums, jawbone, and overall oral health are all factors that will impact your suitability for implants. If the prosthodontist determines that you are a good candidate for dental implants, she can place the implants and provide you with a permanent solution to your tooth loss.
Fit and design your dentures
Prosthodontists also work closely with patients who need dentures. The fit and design of your dentures are both extremely important. Ill-fitting dentures can be painful and make tasks like eating and talking difficult. In addition, dentures that are not well-designed can look artificial and out of place. Prosthodontists get additional training designing and fitting dentures. This additional training can improve your experience of getting dentures and provide you with the best possible fit and look.
Provide you tooth repair options
Prosthodontists can also provide you with tooth repair options such as porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. Veneers and crowns cover or encapsulate your teeth. They can cover damage like cracks and chips. In addition, veneers and crowns can provide you with a brighter and whiter smile even if you have deep stains that do not respond to whitening treatments. Part of the additional training that prosthodontists receive is focused on working with veneers and crowns.
A prosthodontist can help you get the function and form that you want in your smile. The extra training that prosthodontists receive will benefit you because it means that you are getting access to the highest level of expertise and experience.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.