Prosthodontics, also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry, is the area of dentistry that focuses on dental prostheses. Prosthodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association ( A.D.A.).The ADA defines it as “the dental specialty pertaining 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 using biocompatible substitutes.
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, a prosthodontist is a dentist who:
- Specializes in the aesthetic (cosmetic) restoration and replacement of teeth.
- Receives three to four years of additional training after dental school.
- Restores optimum appearance and function to your smile. The planning and restoration of implants, treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and rehabilitation of occlusion with prostheses all fall under the field of prosthodontics.
A Prosthodontist has specialized in offering high quality dental therapy that ranges from placing single crowns and bridges to performing full mouth rehabilitation due to severe loss of teeth(caused by decay, periodontal problems, accidents, surgical therapy, etc ).
Prosthodontists receive extensive training in dental esthetics and esthetic restorations during their graduate programs. Their aim is to provide a beautiful and natural smile to the patient. Dental implants and Maxillofacial prosthetics form parts of Prosthodontics. The academic discourse and approach in this specialty include advanced-level lectures,courses,clinical and laboratory experience, patient care and research leading to a Master’s Degree.
Maxillofacial prosthetics (Oral and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics) is a sub-specialty (or super-specialty) of Prosthodontics. All Maxillofacial prosthodontists are prosthodontists first and then attain a fellowship training (1 year) exclusively in Maxillofacial prosthetics that includes oral surgical and prosthodontic treatments. Maxillofacial prosthodontists treat patients who have acquired and congenital defects of the head and neck (maxillofacial) region due to cancer, surgery, trauma, and/or birth defects.
A prosthodontist is the skilled architect who can restore the optimal appearance and function of your smile.