Prosthodontics is one of only nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). It is the only specialty dedicated to reconstructive, esthetic and implant dentistry. The ADA accredited program consists of 3 years of rigorous post-doctoral clinical training, following dental school, including hands-on fabrication of prosthetic appliances in the dental laboratories and classroom instructions. Thus, in addition to training commensurate with a degree in general dentistry, the prosthodontist receives extensive formal training in the areas of treatment planning, function of occlusion (bite), full-mouth reconstruction cases and the utilization of tools and techniques to achieve natural looking tooth replacement.
The prosthodontist draws up the treatment plan and is the captain of the multi-disciplinary restorative/esthetic team including other dental/medical specialists. The field of cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty recognized by the ADA. Prosthodontics is the only specialty that offers extensive formal clinical training in esthetic procedures (often described as cosmetic dentistry). There are only 3,200 prosthodontists in comparison to 170,000 general dentists in the United States. Post-graduate programs in prosthodontics are highly sought after and involve much time, money and effort to complete.
Why visit a prosthodontist?
Quality is attainable if you work within your skill-set. Your general dentist should refer you to an endodontist for a root canal treatment, a periodontist for gum treatment or an orthodontist for braces. Each of these specialists is focused on their particular field and can produce high-quality outcomes. It may seem that the skill set of a prosthodontist is similar to that of a general dentist, however, the educated patient realizes that a prosthodontist offers a higher skill level, more treatment options, and very customized solutions. The specialty was developed to excel in complex treatments involving individualized, uninterrupted appointments that utilize the most advanced bio-materials and reconstructive techniques to establish natural looking, esthetically pleasing teeth. Shouldn’t you select a specialist with the appropriate skill-set to care for your dental needs?