What’s the Difference?
The amount of extensive knowledge, intricate techniques and specific tools used for every aspect of your oral health continues to grow. In fact, many dentists choose to specialize in certain fields to focus on giving you the best treatment possible for specific dental problems. That’s certainly true for any dentist who decides to become a prosthodontist.
What is a Prosthodontist?
The prefix prostho- refers to making a “replacement.” You’ve probably heard that term before if you know someone with a prosthetic limb. Prosthodontists focuses their training and skill on replacing or repairing teeth. They do this by using things like dentures, bridges, and dental implants. Also, by using techniques like bone grafting or restoration surgery, a prosthodontist helps treat damage or defects of the jaw. They even receive education on temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD). Therefore, a prosthodontist has a special understanding of the dynamics of a smile, and how to preserve or restore it.
To Be a Prosthodontist
A prosthodontist spends four years training to become a dentist — like every dentist does. They thereafter continue with three more years of training and education in prosthodontics from a school specifically accredited by the ADA (American Dental Association). Then, before they can call themselves a prosthodontist, they must pass a rigorous examination proctored by the American Board of Prosthodontics. Along with all that, they are required to re-certify every eight years to demonstrate that they keep up to date on the latest techniques and procedures.
When a patient needs a full-mouth reconstruction or an extensive restoration, a prosthodontist may manage the case and verify the procedures to be used with any other specialists or general dentists involved. While a general dentist might be qualified and have the skill to perform any procedure done by a prosthodontist, for certain cases the dentists at the Placerville Dental Group may make a referral to one of these specialists.
If you would like to know more about prosthodontists, or if you have a procedure in mind that might benefit from their expertise, please contact the Placerville Dental Group by phone or here on our website. We’d be happy to help you receive the best care possible for your oral health — and your smile!