What is a Prosthodontist?
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 a skilled dental architect and contractor combined, who has the expertise to create a master plan, restore optimum function and appearance to your smile. Prosthodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, focusing on training in esthetics/cosmetics, crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, complete and removable partial dentures, dental implants, TMD jaw joint problems, traumatic injury 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 comprehensive oral rehabilitation.
A prosthodontist is dedicated to the highest standards of care in the restoration and replacement of teeth. See more details at www.gotoapro.org.
Is there such a specialty as Implantology or Implant Dentist?
Prosthodontists, oral surgeons and periodontists are the three true ADA recognized specialties in implant dentistry. Prosthodontists are the only ADA recognized specialty that can surgically place and prosthetically restore an implant. However, any dentist that does implant can claim they are an “ implant dentist”. When patients seek implant related care, it is really important to check the true credentials and clinical experiences of a professional. Some may perform complex full mouth restorations on a regular basis and are extremely skilled at implants, while others may only perform a simple single implant every once in a while.
Do I have a bite problem?
People who have bite problems have much higher risks of developing dental diseases, such as cavities, gum diseases, jaw pain, grinding (bruxism), excessive dental wear, temporomandibular disorder (TMD), etc.. If you experience one of the above diseases on a regular basis, you may have a bite issue on top of other factors that contribute to the disease formation. It is generally a good idea to receive a screening exam from a prosthodontist so your oral condition can be comprehensively evaluated.
Do I have a gum problem?
The symptoms of gum disease, unlike those of cavities, can be very subtle at an early stage. Bleeding gum, sensitivity to cold/heat, bad breath are common complaints. However, these symptoms can come and go, and they don’t necessarily cause a lot of pain. That is why gum disease can be accidentially ignored until the state is quite advanced. If you experience irritation, bleeding gum or swelling, you should seek care as soon as possible as damage from gum disease is irreversible and it is like any chronic disease that requires long-term management.
How can I change the appearance of my teeth?
Today with advanced technology and materials there are many options when it comes to creating an esthetic smile. They can range from being conservative and subtle to being more comprehensive and dramatic depending on the patient’s goal and clinical situations. There are many factors to be considered and having a prosthodontist whose expertise includes interdisciplinary care is of paramount importance. A prosthodontist will be able to provide you with the most complete list of options, such as including teeth movement (orthodontics), bleaching, veneer, crowns, implants, crown and bridge, gum surgery, or a combination of these treatments.
Why do I have bad breath?
Bad breath can originate from one of two places. One is the oral cavity and the second is the upper gastric intestinal (GI) system. Bad breath from the oral cavity typically is due to rampant caries or active gum disease. Bad breath from upper GI is more likely due to a disorder of the stomach, such as GERD (Gastro-esophageal reflux disorder). GERD can have a severely negative impact on your teeth and oral health, causing severe erosion and cancerous cell changes in the esophagus. If you have bad breath, you should seek help by first seeing a dentist to rule out any possible active dental disease. If there is no obvious culprit from the oral cavity, seeing a GI doctor would be the next step. People who have bad breath from GI disorder tend to have dental signs to indicate GERD. During a comprehensive exam with a prosthodontist, he/she can also detect these signs and make necessary recommendation to prevent further damage.
I have a terrible fear of dentists, what can I do?
It is very common for people to be fearful of medical professionals, including dentists. You may be embarrassed because of your oral condition, or are afraid of the pain, discomfort and the noise associated with treatments as you were told horror stories by others or you recall previous bad experiences. However, dental care does not have to be this way! There are many ways we can help reduce your anxiety when it comes to dental care. Our office is equipped with electric handpieces and piezo-electric ultrasonic cleaner that produce lower pitch, quieter sound, smoother movements during treatments. We have all levels of sedation ranging from laughing gas (nitrous oxide), oral/IV conscious sedation to general anesthesia with a very safe, calming and comfortable environment. Prosthodontists like Dr. Wei handle complex cases frequently. So do not assume your oral health is too bad to be treated. Remember, it is never too late to take care of your teeth, and the sooner you take the step, the faster you can regain your oral health.