What’s the difference between a Prosthodontist and General Dentist?

General dentists are trained to evaluate and treat routine dental care, including dental fillings and crowns.  Often times, general dentists elect to receive specialized training to offer specialty care, such as endodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics.

A prosthodontist is a general dental who has received extensive, highly-skilled training in tooth replacement and restoration, or dental prosthesis.  Extensive training includes up to three years of additional training through an ADA-accredited program, training in the placement of veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, dental implants, training in treating temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD), continuing education, and in some cases, board certification.

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, “prosthodontics pertains to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues”.

In summary, General Dentists focus on treating, repairing and maintaining general dental health and Prosthodontists focus on the restoration of teeth, teeth functions, and healthy smiles.

Why See a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontics (also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry) is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Prosthodontists specialize in the diagnosis, restoration, and replacement of missing teeth. Prosthodontists can restore oral function through the placement of restorations or prostheses, such as, dentures, crowns, and implants.

Extensive training and experience give prosthodontists a unique understanding of restoring the dynamics of a smile and healthy mouth with the creation of tooth prostheses. Becoming a prosthodontist requires an additional three years of specialty training after obtaining a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree.

This specialized training must be completed at an ADA-accredited prosthodontic education program. This is where prosthodontists are highly trained in state-of-the-art techniques and procedures for treating multiple, diverse, and complex dental conditions. They will also learn how to restore the optimum function and aesthetics of a smile.

Advanced deterioration of a patient’s teeth usually creates issues in addition to loss of tooth or tooth structure which can be addressed by our office. While we may serve as the “architect” of a dental treatment plan, we often collaborate with your general dentist and in special cases, other specialists to facilitate the complete treatment of your condition.

Prosthodontic treatment can literally redesign your smile with a number of different services including:  veneers, inlays / onlays, dental bonding, dental implants, dentures, teeth whitening, bridges, crowns, and partials.