Like an orthodontist or a periodontist, a prosthodontist is a type of dentist who has received specialized training in a particular type of dentistry. After completing their education in general dentistry, a prosthodontist continues to train for three additional years in the repair or replacement of teeth and jaw structure restorations. Specially trained prosthodontists even work with head and neck deformities.
Prosthodontics is the dental specialty of dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry. In Greek, “prostho” means “replacement” or “addition,” and “dont” means “tooth.” So prosthodontists are specially trained in repairing your smile where teeth are damaged or missing.
You might visit a prosthodontist if you want to improve the esthetics of your smile. Prosthodontists can repair your smile with many different dental prosthetics, including, but not limited to:
Bridges are dental appliances that replace missing teeth and create a “bridge” between teeth. A prosthetic tooth, called a “pontic,” is attached to an existing tooth to fill a gap in your smile.
Crowns cover and support a tooth to protect the tooth from breaking or to restore an already broken tooth. They can also cover a discolored tooth and are a great way to make your teeth stronger and improve their appearance.
Dentures are a set of removable teeth that replace missing teeth. They can improve your smile and your overall dental health by making it easier to chew and eat and by preventing facial sagging.
Dental implants are prosthetic replacements for natural teeth. They are anchored in the jawbone and permanently secured in your mouth, and they look and act like natural teeth.
Inlays and onlays replace old fillings. An inlay is like a regular filling and fits inside of the cavity of the tooth. An onlay also fits inside the cavity, but it covers the tooth cusp as well.
Veneers are thin prosthetics that are placed over a tooth to improve its appearance or strengthen it.
Prosthodontists also work on TMJ/TMD problems in the jaw joint.
General dentists can do some of the treatments that prosthodontists do, but prosthodontists specialize in these tooth restoration procedures. They even regularly lead teams of dentists to solve your dental problems and focus on the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of your oral health, appearance and comfort.
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Fact # 23: Aaron McGruder, cartoonist & writer best known for the series The Boondocks, grew up in Columbia.