You may have heard the term "prosthodontics" but what does that actually mean? Our Lethbridge dental team is here to tell you what this specialty entails and why you might need to see a prosthodontist at some point.
What is prosthodontics?
Like other parts of our body, our teeth can become badly damaged due to disease or trauma, cavities, teeth grinding, restorations that fail, or acid exposure/erosion (from disease or diet), or not enough saliva.
While your general dentist may be able to resolve some of your dental issues, if your case is more complex, we may refer you to a prosthodontist for comprehensive treatment and dental surgery.
Prosthodontics is a specialty and branch of dentistry that involves the diagnosis, treatment planning, restoration and maintenance of a patient’s oral function, appearance, health and comfort.
What does a prosthodontist do?
A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who has successfully completed an accredited advanced educational program in prosthodontics.
This individual holds a specialized designation from a provincial dental regulatory body. This person has 2 to 3 years of additional training in clinical restorative procedures beyond a general dental degree.
A prosthodontist specializes in diagnosing dental issues, planning treatments, and preventing further dental disease. Think of a prosthodontist as an 'oral architect'. They develop treatment plans and ensure treatment sequences are synchronized between medical and dental specialists, as well as general dentists to provide the most comprehensive patient care. With a prosthodontist's services, your natural teeth are restored, and missing teeth or tissues are replaced with artificial substitutes.
While the dentists at Lethbridge Peridontal can complete restorations, we would send specialized cases to a prosthodontist.
Which services does a prosthodontist offer?
A prosthodontist offers a wide range of dental surgery services, such as:
- Mouth guards
- Cosmetic procedures
When would we refer you to a prosthodontist?
For patients who have suffered serious damage to their teeth through trauma or as a result of injury or disease, their case may be so advanced that it requires higher attention and care from a prosthodontist. These specialists are recognized for their knowledge of when anything in your mouth needs to be replaced, from one or two teeth to all teeth and gums in the mouth. Prosthodontists often lead teams of general dentists, specialists and other health professionals to create customized solutions to fulfill your dental needs.
Leveraging their training and experience, prosthodontists have a specialized understanding of the dynamics of your smile and how to preserve your healthy mouth. They can also explain these concepts and answer questions you may have.
You and your dentist may decide you need a prosthodontist because they are trained in specific techniques and procedures that help treat complex oral health conditions. They can help restore your smile's function and appearance.
At Lethbridge Peridontal, during an examination, we will assess patients and make evaluations on a case-by-case basis and can tell you whether a prosthodontist might be the best dental professional to perform your procedure.