There are many sub-specialties in dentistry, but one you may have never heard about is prosthodontics. Prosthodontics play a critical role in the overall treatment of many individuals needing more than just general dental care. Commonwealth Prosthodontics is a full service dental practice that specializes in prosthodontic dentistry.
What Is Prosthodontics?
Sometimes called dental prosthetics, prosthodontics focuses on the restoration of dental functioning. In many cases, the patients served by prosthodontics are those who have lost teeth due to disease or injury or may have other abnormal conditions of the mouth.
Prosthodontics is particularly associated with the use of artificial devices that improve both the function and appearance of one’s smile. These devices, which are known as prostheses, are varied in their scope, size and shape. For example, dental prostheses include implants, dentures and even synthetic segments that replace missing parts of the jaw or palate.
The American Dental Association (ADA) officially recognizes prosthodontics as the only branch of dentistry responsible for correcting cosmetic concerns. Though many dentists use the title of “cosmetic dentist”, this is not a designation defined by the ADA, as only prosthodontists are given this recognition after years of intense education in the field. The providers at Commonwealth Prosthodontics share their education and wealth of knowledge with their patients daily so that they can regain their oral health and smile again.
Who Is a Prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who has completed both a standard four year sequence of education in general dentistry and a specialized three year curriculum in prosthodontics. Prosthodontists are typically among the most well educated of all dental specialists and comprise only a small fraction of all practicing dentists in the United States.
By virtue of their education and training, prosthodontists are often given the lead position in many dental treatment scenarios. In fact, it’s not unusual for an assembled team of dentists to receive instruction and guidance from a prosthodontist.
Why Do Patients Choose Prosthodontists?
While most dentists are able to adequately treat general conditions of the teeth and mouth, such as fillings and simple extractions, a prosthodontist should be called upon for help when restoration is necessary. Some circumstances where a prosthodontist should be consulted include:
- Dental implant surgery to replace missing teeth If teeth are lost due to injury or as a consequence of disease, then implants are often the best option for restoring function and a patient’s natural appearance. Prosthodontists are well trained in using implants to replace missing teeth, which provides the look and feel of natural teeth like no other options.
- Reconstructive surgery following loss of tissue or bone due to accident or illness Traumatic injuries can cause a permanent loss of tissue and bone in and around the mouth, and diseases such as oral cancer often necessitate the removal of affected areas. A prosthodontist can restore the appearance of these areas by skillfully rebuilding missing areas with prosthetic devices and appliances.
- Cleft palate or other disfiguring conditions For children born with cleft palate and cleft lip, as well as other birth defects involving the mouth, a prosthodontist can help repair the damage done via the use of prosthetics and facilitating other treatments.
- Cosmetic flaws of the teeth Since prosthodontists are recognized for their cosmetic reconstruction skills, they can also provide services to individuals who wish to improve the looks of their teeth. For example, prosthodontists are able to whiten teeth and perform other procedures that can make teeth more attractive. This can be of great value to people who have suffered from low self esteem due to dental cosmetic flaws; confidence can often be rebuilt by simultaneously rebuilding someone’s smile.
When you are considering restorative cosmetic dental treatment, the skill of the provider must be an integral part of the decision. Commonwealth Prosthodontics has a team of skilled prosthodontic dentists ready to help you regain the confidence and joy of a beautiful, fully functioning smile. Contact us for an appointment today at (804) 346-3366 and start smiling again!