If you are looking for a new dental office in your area, you may want to seek out a professional prosthodontist. Prosthetic dentistry is just one of the nine specialized fields approved by the American Dental Association. While all general dentists go to four years of school, a specialist like a prosthodontist does an additional three years of training.
Prosthodontists are experts at providing tooth restorations and restoring aesthetics to your smile. Because a prosthodontist has received extra training, you may enjoy some more benefits than you would at another dental office.
They Can Make Unique Prostheses
While a general dentist can make prostheses like dentures and crowns, they cannot handle overly difficult cases. For instance, if a patient has been in a traumatic accident, has a birth defect (e.g., cleft palate), or has cancer, he or she may need very specialized prostheses to restore speech and eating functions.
These patients may need prostheses like
soft palate oburators: these can cover fistulas in the oral cavity and aid with eating
mandibular-resection prosthesis: these are often used for cancer patients that have lost jaw bone and teeth
Most dentists can make basic dentures out of acrylic, but only prosthodontists can make flexible dentures out of thermoplastic nylon. These dentures tend to fit better and look more aesthetically pleasing.
They Can Help You With Both Cosmetic and Functional Needs
If you wanted an appointment to discuss discolored or misshaped teeth, a general dentist may refer you to a cosmetic dentist or only offer the basics (e.g., bonding). However, if you go to a prosthodontist's office, he or she can help you with a wider variety of both functional and cosmetic needs. Some prosthodontists offer veneers, caps, and whitening. If you want to get dental implants, some prosthodontists are involved in this restoration treatment as well.
They Can Do More Invasive Procedures
For a serious extraction — like the removal of impacted wisdom teeth — that requires IV sedation, a general dentist would have to refer you to an oral surgeon. If you see a prosthodontist for all your dental needs, he or she can likely do this procedure in office since oral and maxillofacial treatment is a sub-specialty of the prosthodontic specialty.
Besides the previously mentioned benefits, prosthodontists have been known to help geriatric patients, special needs patients, sleep apnea patients, and TMJ patients. If you want more comprehensive dental care, contact a prosthodontist in your area today.