What Is a Prosthodontist & Why Should I See One?
If your general dentist referred you to a prosthodontist, you might be wondering what a prosthodontist does and why you need to see one. "Prostho" means replacement, and "dontist" means dealing with the teeth. Prosthodontists are dentists that specialize in the diagnosis of dental disease and the fabrication and fixture of dental prosthetics for the teeth and other parts of the mouth.
When patients need to restore damaged teeth or replace missing teeth, they should visit a prosthodontist. The prosthodontists at Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group can treat any case, from placing simple restorations to complex reconstructions. If you or a loved one need prosthodontic care, we can complete all stages of your treatment in-house at our Boston, MA, practice.
What Does a Prosthodontist Do?
Unlike general dentists, prosthodontists specialize in treating complex restorative and cosmetic dental concerns. Prosthodontists are responsible for restoring or replacing damaged teeth with custom dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and dentures.
Prosthodontists are dentists who have finished dental school plus a few additional years of specialized training. They specialize in treating and managing dental and facial issues that involve rebuilding missing tooth and jaw structures.
Why Visit a Prosthodontist?
Patients visit the prosthodontist for many reasons, including:
- Congenital conditions that are present from birth
- Traumatic injuries to the teeth, jaws, or other facial structures
- Pain or discomfort caused by dental concerns
- Cosmetic concerns caused by dental disease
Prosthodontists specialize in restorative dentistry services, including:
- Dental implants: Implants are screw-like devices that are positioned in the jaw and substitute the tooth root permanently. They support a restoration such as a crown, bridge, or denture when a natural tooth is missing.
- Dental crown: A crown improves the appearance and function of a cracked, broken, or decayed tooth. Crowns, also called caps, preserve the teeth and protect them from further damage.
- Bridges: A dental bridge replaces two to three adjacent teeth. There are two types of dental bridges—traditional bridges and implant-supported bridges.
- Dentures: Dentures are false teeth that substitute an entire row of teeth (upper, lower, or both). Partial dentures are also available.
- TMJ disorder treatment: A TMJ disorder can cause pain and tension in the teeth, jaws, head, face, neck, and shoulders. Prosthodontists often prescribe stabilization splints, a plastic device that fits over the upper or lower teeth to support and stabilize the joints and muscles and prevent a misaligned bite.
- Sleep apnea treatment: Obstructive sleep apnea happens when breathing pauses during sleep and causes gasping for air, disruptive snoring, and daytime exhaustion. Our prosthodontists in Boston, MA, focus on relieving symptoms of sleep apnea with nonsurgical treatments.
- Full mouth construction: A full mouth reconstruction is a custom treatment plan. It combines two or more restorative dental procedures to rebuild the smile and restore dental function.
Our prosthodontists can improve the function and form of your smile by combining restorative treatments with cosmetic dentistry procedures. Cosmetic dentistry refers to procedures that enhance the smile's beauty, including teeth whitening, dental bonding, and straightening the teeth with Invisalign®.
What to Expect during a Prosthodontic Appointment
General dentists refer patients to the prosthodontist. A visit to the prosthodontist is slightly different from routine dental appointments—this visit focuses on rehabilitating the teeth or mouth.
First, the prosthodontist reviews the patient’s dental history and examines the current condition of the teeth. They diagnose dental issues and create a custom treatment plan designed to address those issues. Depending on which treatments you need, your treatment may span several appointments.
Visit Our Prosthodontics Practice Today
Prosthodontists can perform many different dental procedures. If you need restorative dental treatment or are interested in cosmetic upgrades, call (617) 523-5451 or message us online to schedule an appointment with Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group in Boston, MA.