What is a Prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist with additional education in the restoration and replacement of missing teeth as well as a wide variety of other esthetic and cosmetic procedures.
Prosthodontics is one of only nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA).
What training do prosthodontists have?
After graduating from dental school, prosthodontists complete a three or four year ADA-accredited residency program. It includes lectures and seminars, and intensive laboratory and clinical experience in fabricating crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, complete and removable partial dentures, and dental implants.
Residents also receive extensive training in diagnosing and treating temporomandibular disorders (TMD) of the jaw, traumatic injuries to oral structures, and congenital or birth anomalies such as cleft palate, and oral cancer reconstruction. In addition, they are qualified to manage bruxism and sleep apnea disorders such as snoring.
Prosthodontists are dedicated to the highest standards of care in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Your prosthodontist will work closely with you to develop a comprehensive plan to treat your specific situation and explain what result you can expect.
What does it mean to be Board Certified in Prosthodontics?
After completing an accredited residency program, prosthodontists have the option of applying for Board certification in the specialty. The process, which is administered by the American Board of Prosthodontics, is similar to that in other dental and medical fields.
Subsequent to completing a comprehensive written examination, candidates must present three patient cases and defend their diagnosis, treatment, and results to a panel of examiners, all of whom are experienced Board Certified prosthodontists.
After successfully challenging the multipart process, which requires approximately four years, the prosthodontist becomes certified and is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics. To maintain their certification, Diplomates must demonstrate their commitment to their continuing professional education by attending or presenting scientific lectures or publishing articles or textbook chapters.
What is the role of the American Board of Prosthodontics?
The mission of the American Board of Prosthodontics is to certify individuals who have demonstrated exemplary knowledge and skills in the specialty. The Board also seeks to identify those who are committed to life-long learning and ethical practices and to the advancement of Prosthodontics.
The American Board of Prosthodontics recognizes its responsibility to the profession and to the public and discharges this responsibility through the administration of examinations designed to identify individuals with the knowledge, skills, and attributes deemed important to those who will be called Diplomates of the American Board of Prosthodontics.
Experts in Diagnosis and Treatment
Because of their additional education and training, Prosthodontists are experts in diagnosis, treatment planning and restorative procedures. Your prosthodontist can restore your oral function and improve the esthetic appearance of your smile through:
- Replacement of broken, worn, or decayed teeth with crowns, veneers or inlays
- Placement of implant crowns and prostheses
- Replacement of missing teeth with bridges
- Fabricating removable dentures
- Restoration of the occlusion
- Management of TMJ disorders and bruxism
Maxillofacial prosthodontists also manage congenital or developmental defects; traumatic injuries; and abnormalities resulting from cancer surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy treatment.
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