What Is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is a field of dentistry that specializes in the aesthetic restoration and replacement of teeth. A prosthodontists is a dentist that performs procedures such as: crowns, bridges, veneers, and complete or partial dentures. Dentists also receive advanced training for implant dentistry, jaw joint issues, congenital abnormalities, oral cancer reconstruction, snoring, and sleep disorders.
When your teeth need to be replaced or you suffer from jaw joint issues such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD or TMJ), instead of seeing your regular dentist, you should consider seeing a prosthodontist. Prosthodontics deals in procedures that specialize in the aesthetic replacement or restoration of teeth. Unlike your regular dentist, a prosthodontists has extensive training and experience when it comes to restorations and reconstruction.
Prosthodontics or Cosmetic Dentistry?
Though the fields of prosthodontics and cosmetic dentistry both aim for the restoration and reconstruction of teeth, the main difference is that a prosthodontist has at least three more years of training than a cosmetic dentist. Therefore, depending on their credentials, a prosthodontist is generally more skilled and knowledgeable than a regular cosmetic dentist. However, if you are choosing between a prosthodontist and a cosmetic dentist, then you should do some research about the dentists beforehand.
The difference between a fabulous smile and a serious disappointment is how well the dentist does their job. A prosthodontist may have more training when they initially enter the field, but that does not mean they have the same amount of experience as a cosmetic dentist. Always ask for before and after photos from past procedures and make sure your dentist is up to date with the latest techniques in dentistry. Ultimately, you should base the final decision on what kind of procedure you need. Due to their extensive training, a prosthodontist is able to provide a wider variety of services than a regular cosmetic dentist.
When to Consider Seeing a Prosthodontist
Not only can a prosthodontist give you a straighter, whiter and brighter smile, they also specialize in treating problems caused by joints, genetics, and total or partial loss of teeth.
TMD (or TMJ) is a joint disorder that causes discomfort or pain in the jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, or in and around your ear as you chew or speak. Traumatic injury to the jaw or muscles in your head and neck can cause TMD. Grinding or clenching your teeth, arthritis and stress can lead to TMD.
While dentures are a great solution when you are missing several teeth, other problems such as extreme loss of underlying bone, loss of facial tissue support, and pain or dysfunction of the joints can occur when you’re are missing teeth.
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Ron has years of experience in the dental world. You can find his thoughts at teeth care blog.
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