What is a Prosthodontist and Do You Need One?

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
What is a Prosthodontist and Do You Need One?
Do you or someone you love need a new set of teeth? You might be surprised to learn you’re not alone. Studies show that 178 million Americans are missing teeth. And between 100,000 to 300,000 dental implants are performed each year for both cosmetic and health reasons. So if you’re ready to restore your smile, there’s never been a better time to make an appointment and take advantage of the latest prosthodontics treatments. But does your dentist or another oral care professional handle this?

General Dentist, Orthodontist, and Prosthodontist Definitions Explained

Which doctor you should go to depends on the type of care you need.

First, a general dentist is a doctor who is trained in oral health care. Your dentist diagnoses and treats gum, teeth, tongue, and mouth conditions as well as promoting good oral hygiene. The dentist routinely:

A man smiles with straight white teeth outside after visiting the prosthodontist.

  • Fills cavities and applies sealants
  • Repairs or removes damaged teeth
  • Removes buildup or decay
  • Checks on the growth of teeth and jawbones

Most people see their general dentist once or twice a year.

Next, an orthodontist is a dentist trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent teeth and jaw irregularities. Through the use of braces, retainers, and bands, an orthodontist:

  • Straightens crooked teeth
  • Fixes over- and underbites
  • Aligns jaws

Although most familiar to many teens who visit an orthodontist to straighten their teeth, orthodontics can help with teeth straightening at any age.

Last is the one you’re probably least familiar with: What is a prosthodontist? The prosthodontist definition shows how their role is different from the other dentists mentioned. A prosthodontist is who you see when you need to restore or replace missing or damaged teeth. Think of them as working with dental prosthetics—the same way amputees use prosthetics to replace missing limbs, the prosthodontist uses prosthetics to replace teeth. Prosthodontists also replace missing parts of the jaw and face, and they have advanced training in aesthetic restoration and teeth replacement.

Treatments offered by prosthodontists and concerns they address include:

 A middle-age couple with beautiful smiles are happy after receiving prosthodontics.

  • Crowns and bridges: covering existing and missing teeth to help with function and keep them from fractures
  • Complete and removable partial dentures: replacing teeth for full functionality
  • Dental implants: permanently replacing missing teeth
  • Temporomandibular disorders (TMD): jaw joint problems
  • Traumatic mouth-injury treatment
  • Snoring or sleep disorders: providing appliances that aid in resolving the issue
  • Oral cancer reconstruction and continuing care

Why You Should Visit a Prosthodontist Over Any Other Specialist or General Dentist

While in some instances, a general dentist can do some of the same things, visiting a prosthodontist may be better for you than visiting any other dentist if you:

 A mature woman with long red hair smiles after learning the prosthodontics definition.

  • Are searching for a dentist with advanced training in esthetic restorations or teeth replacement
  • Need a second opinion
  • Want to improve teeth function
  • Want to enhance your smile
  • Wear dentures or other removable prosthetics and need relines
  • Need dentures or other removable prosthetics
  • Are interested in dental implants

With prosthodontics at Penn Dental Family Practice, our dental impact specialists offer unique and specific treatment plans not offered by general dentists. Download this complimentary flyerCreate Your Dream Smile With Penn Dental Family Practice” to find out all the ways we can help.

Whether you or a loved one are dreaming of replacing worn-down teeth with a set of pearly whites, want to improve a smile, or enjoy a hearty meal, visit our prosthodontists at Penn Dental Family Practice. Through our advanced technologies, we can help boost your confidence, improve your health, and restore functionality. When it comes to the prosthodontist definition, Penn Dental describes it to a T.

When you’re looking into “prosthodontists Philadelphia,” make sure you take a look at Penn Dental Family Practice. For more information on discovering your options and to schedule an appointment with one of our expert prosthodontists, give us a call at 215-898-PDFP (7337).