Prosthodontist is an appellation given to dentists who practice the diagnosis, treatment-planning, oral restoration, and replacement of teeth. Their focus consists of but is not limited to dental crowns, dentures, and cosmetic implants. Prosthodontists have achieved a higher level of education and pursued three or more years of extensive coaching after the standard dental school completion.
While other tooth-replacement methods are still in use today, dental implants are the gold standard for a good reason. Dentures are intended to hold in place with adhesion or by appending to your remaining teeth with fasteners. Though they may fit flawlessly when you first install them, the natural bone loss that transpires from missing teeth can make the dentures lose their fit over time, prompting patients to encounter embarrassing slipping regularly. Dental bridges are another traditional tooth replacement option, but they require the modification of a healthy tooth for a crown replacement. Implants do not pose any of these problems. Because they are permanently anchored into your jaw, you can experience speaking and eating without the worry about your teeth sliding out of position. In addition to helping you sustain the healthy formation of your surviving teeth, implants feel and function like natural teeth and stimulate the jawbone to help maintain a youthful facial impression.
Is a Prosthodontist an Oral Surgeon?
A prosthodontist is an oral healthcare provider who specializes in the restoration of natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing or chipped teeth, but on a much larger scale than the general dentist. The prosthodontist utilizes artificial teeth, also known as dentures or crowns, to replace missing or extracted teeth.
Explain the Difference Between a Dentist and Prosthodontist
The most significant distinction between a prosthodontist and a general dentist is that a prosthodontist is specialized in replacing your damaged teeth and restoring your oral health and function throughout your whole mouth. General dentists focus on maintaining your healthy teeth, offering emergency dental care, and ensuring that they remain healthy.
Do I Need a Prosthodontist?
You should see a prosthodontist if you need dentures or are having a prosthetic tooth implanted in a spot where you lost a tooth. In addition to correcting your dental issues so that you have a functional bite, a prosthodontist also works to guarantee that your teeth look natural and attractive.
How Do Dental Implants Work
Implants are meant to serve as artificial tooth roots, and are typically created from titanium. This biocompatible metal has been utilized for decades in hip and knee replacement operations. The implant is implanted into the jaw, and the bone fuses with its rough surface in a process called “osseointegration.” Once the artificial tooth root is anchored in the jawbone, a crown is attached to the top of the abutment, which is the part of the implant that extends to the top of the gums.
Dental implants are used to restore one or more teeth:
- Single Tooth – In a single tooth replacement procedure, the implant is surgically planted at the site of the lost tooth and is topped with a porcelain crown.
- Implant Bridge – A traditional bridge is attached by placing crowns on the healthy teeth on either side of the empty tooth sockets. Still, an implant bridge uses two or more titanium screws to anchor the restoration in place.
- Implant Dentures. – In instances where numerous or all teeth are missing, a few strategically-placed titanium implants can sustain a full or partial denture.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Installing dental implants is a two-step procedure:
- Implant Placement – The implant placement process typically only requires local anesthesia, but your prosthodontist may offer something a bit more potent if a patient feels anxious. Once the patient is comfortable, the prosthodontist will cut an opening in the gum tissue at the place of the missing tooth. The small titanium screw is then inserted into the jawbone. The dentist will then close the gum tissues with a few sutures. The gums generally heal in approximately a week, but the osseointegration of the implant will take several months. It is possible the patient will be fitted with a temporary tooth to wear while waiting.
- Placing Restorations – When the implants are ready for permanent restorations, the dentist will take impressions of the mouth to create replacement teeth that blend with your natural teeth. The patient then returns to have the repairs permanently affixed to the abutments.