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According to American College of Prosthodontics (ACP), a prosthodontist is a dentist who Specializes in the esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth, receives three years of additional training after dental school, and restores optimum appearance and function to your smile. Additional training for prosthodontists is earned through a hospital- or university-based program accredited by the American Dental Association. The training includes reviews of the literature, lectures, treatment of patients and laboratory experience in fabricating restorations.
A prosthodontist is the skilled architect who can restore optimum function and appearance to your smile. Prosthodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Graduate programs in prosthodontics include classroom lectures and seminars, laboratory and clinical training in esthetics/cosmetics, crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, complete and removable partial dentures, dental implants, TMD-jaw joint problems, traumatic injuries to the mouth’s structures, congenital or birth anomalies to teeth, snoring, sleep disorders, and oral cancer reconstruction and continuing care. Prosthodontists are masters of complete oral rehabilitation.
A prosthodontist is dedicated to the highest standards of care in the restoration and replacement of teeth. For further information, please visit: http://www.prosthodontics.org/patients/
Many patients with great teeth see prosthodontists on a regular basis for their dental care. They do so because they desire to receive care from someone who is trained in all phases of Dentistry with knowledge of esthetics and function. Prosthodontists are able to detect early dental problems that have no symptoms and make recommendation to prevent future irreversible damage. As we all know, dental problems only get more expensive and complicated over time. Why not start your care with an expert?
Contrary to common misbelief, prosthodontists are not more expensive than general dentists. Many times, the fees are comparable for similar types of procedures. Yet, prosthodontists are trained to perform complex procedures, so the treatment length and cost would sometimes be high. Becuase prosthodontists are trained to detect potential problems and future complications, many are conservative in recommending unpredictable elective treatments. When Prosthodontists perform cosmetic procedures, the goal is always to achieve predictability with consideration of esthetic and function.
Dental implant surgery is a minor, gentle procedure. Many times, it can be performed under local anesthesia alone. Many of our patients expressed surprises how little discomfort there was after the surgical procedure. The goal of implant placement is to preserve bone and cause as little trauma as possible. This is how the implants would be successful.When it comes to delicate surgeries like for dental implant, it is not about force, but finesse!
Dental implants require many components purchased from implant companies. These costs are in addition to the traditional laboratory charges. Dental laboratories fees are higher when it comes to implants too, due to the complexity of fabricating such restorations.There are many implant companies on the market, unfortunately, only a handful have long term research and complete prosthetic components. Implant market is full of cheap alternatives, copycat implants and foreign implant systems. It is, of course, more costly for the dentists and patients to use the major implant systems, but we are dealing with the long term health of our body. The safety and predictability should be the No. 1 consideration.In our office, we do not believe in cutting corners or solely looking at the bottom line by using these cheap, non- research based implant systems. The short term gain will have serious long term consequences. It is a lose -lose situation for all.We also remind patients to consider time factor in their calculation. A treatment of $500 that lasts 5 years is in fact much more costly than a treatment of $1,000 that lasts for 20 + years.
An implant is like a tooth that grows back in the mouth. Once it integrates with the bone, it will provide better than natural teeth function. The benefits for patients are tremendous. Implants also allow dentists to provide treatment options that are more like natural dentition and more conservative.
Prosthodontists are experts in bite (occlusion), esthetics, oral function, and all phases of restorative dentist. Most dental educators and internationally known speakers teaching dentists are prosthodontists. We are also the expert in coordination among different specialties and are knowledgeable in all laboratory procedures.Prosthodontists are able to offer the most complete options a patient can receive for any given dental problem.
It’s like building a house. We hire an architect for planning, the concrete contractor for laying foundation, the carpenter for framing etc.. Why would it be different when it comes to rebuilding our teeth?Different specialists are expert in each area, which will provide the best treatment outcome for overall care. Prosthodontists are the gatekeeper to screen patients in need of interdisciplinary treatment and prosthodontists are also the quarterback that facilitate the communication among specailists.
Our oral health, dentition, occlusion ( bite), muscles, nerves and temporomandibular joints are all related. It is very dangerous to focus on one area without looking at the big picture. Patch work or drill and fill mentality often ends up being more expensive for patients, requiring retreatment or fixing problems. It is time-consuming and frustrating for patients.
Many studies indicate that the percentage of the bruxer (people who grind teeth) population is increasing. It is related to busy life style and stress in modern society. Bruxism is a big challenge in Dentistry. Patients sometimes grind away their tooth structure so much, that they need either full mouth reconstruction or extraction of non-restorable teeth. The consequence is serious. The cheapest and easiest way to prevent the serious consequence is to wear a night guard, which is a piece of plastic custom molded to patient’s teeth. Two things can happen with night guard treatment. (1) grinding stops completely (2) grinding continues, but instead of wearing away tooth structure, patients wear away the plastic.
Pain, unfortunately, is a poor indicator of dental problems. When patients feel pain, many times, it is too late or too difficult to save teeth. Serious diseases like periodontitis ( gum disease) are not very painful until they reach an advanced stage. Many malignant oral cancers are also asymptomatic. This is why it is critical to receive regular dental exam and care.
Braces are not just for having nice looking straight teeth. It is one of the greatest benefits, and patients can certainly appreciate that. But there is much more ! Braces also improve occlusion (bite), create stable dentition, better condition for preventing cavities, periodontal diseases and allow prosthodontists to fabricate predictable restorations or avoid need of restorations. The benefits are tremendous. There is no age limit for having healthy teeth and we have patients from 8 year old to 82 year old receiving braces!
Gum treatment does not make gums recede, gum disease does.Prior to treatment, gum tissue is swollen, giving the illusion that the gum is at a normal level. Once inflammation goes away, tissue shrinks, exposing the denuded areas on the root. The root surface has tubules that can conduct sensation. Therefore, the teeth become sensitive. Gum disease is like all chronic disease, ignoring treatment will result in serious consequences. Maintenance is very critical on the patient part. As long as the patient maintains good oral hygiene, sensitivity will decrease over time.
Our smile is the first thing others notice. Having a good smile can promote self-esteem. It is also a great introduction of ourselves to make a positive impression.More importantly, we swallow what’s in our mouth every day. Imagine sucking on pus or inflamed tissue all the time! That would be the case if we neglect our oral health and live with oral diseases.There are more and more medical experts supporting the belief that oral bacteria have great impact on our general health, such as cardiovascular conditions, Diabetes, and other autoimmune or inflammatory diseases.Taking good care of our body requires taking good care of our oral health.