What is a Prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a highly educated dental specialist dedicated to the health of your entire mouth. Prosthodontists take a whole mouth approach, undergoing intense training beyond general dentistry to focus on some of the most advanced procedures in dentistry. They perform cosmetic procedures to enhance the appearance of your smile and restorative procedures to help patients with missing or damaged teeth. Prosthodontists don’t just make teeth look better, they help your whole mouth function better too.
Prosthodontist vs. General Dentist
Many people don’t know the difference between a general dentist and a prosthodontist. Whilst some general dentists perform cosmetic and restorative dentistry, there is a significantly different level of skill and expertise between a general dentist and a prosthodontist. Having completed 3 or more years of specialized training, prosthodontists are well versed in cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. They are uniquely qualified to perform cosmetic dentistry and advanced restorative dental procedures like dental implants and full-mouth reconstruction.
After completing 4 years of dental school, prosthodontists complete a further 3 years of advanced training in prosthodontics. Some have additional fellowship training in sub-specialties. Prosthodontists must continue their education through seminars and CE courses throughout the duration of their careers.
Prosthodontists have experience transforming smiles through intensive training. They understand the art and science of creating beautiful smiles that fit each patient. Prosthodontists are well versed in all types of dental restorations: dental veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures and dental implants.
The treatment goals of a prosthodontist are centered around functionality, aesthetics, oral health and comfort. Prosthodontists also focus on beauty and harmony in the work they do. Dr. Steinberg uses a scientific knowledge of facial anatomy along with an understanding of dental materials to adjust the appearance of teeth, whilst retaining and improving oral functionality and health.
Prosthodontists discusses realistic expectations and outcomes with their patients. They thoroughly explain treatment plans and alternatives to their patients. They also educate patients on maintenance requirements to promote the longevity of their work.
Treatment by a prosthodontist results in an attractive, natural-looking smile that functions well. The final restoration fits the character of the patient’s face and is designed to last for many years.
General dentists complete four years of dental school to earn the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree. General dentists may elect to continue their education through weekend seminars and CE courses in cosmetic or restorative dentistry, though it is not required.
General dentists can change the appearance of teeth using basic skills learned in Dental School and through continuing education courses. Many do not have knowledge of established aesthetic principles. They frequently limit cosmetic or restorative treatment to protocols they are comfortable with.
The treatment goals of a general dentist are centered around diagnosing and treating oral diseases. General dentists focus on treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of their patients. Some with training beyond dental school do perform cosmetic dentistry, though many refer their more complex cases to a prosthodontist or other dental specialist.
Most general dentists are willing to discuss treatment with their patients and educate them on how to achieve optimum oral health. With cosmetic dental treatments, they provide very little or no patient education before or following treatment.
Treatment by a general dentist usually results in improved oral health. However, cosmetic improvements performed by a general dentist may look less natural and may not last very long.