The American Dental Association accredits nine different specialties. One of these is prosthodontics. In addition to attending regular dental school, prosthodontic specialists, or prosthodontists as they are often called, complete a 3-year graduate program in which they learn the specifics of restoring and replacing teeth. Unlike general dentists, who typically focus on everyday dental issues such as filling cavities and performing root canals, prosthodontists perform advanced cosmetic procedures such placing veneers on stained teeth, designing dental bridges and placing ceramic caps over damaged or unsightly teeth. If you're seeking a complete smile overhaul, you are best off visiting a prosthodontist.
The Importance of Seeing a Specialist
Many people who are unhappy with their smiles have multiple dental issues. From tooth decay to stains on the front teeth, each issue must be dealt with separately. If you visit a general dentist, he or she may be able to address some of your issues, but not all of them. By visiting a prosthodontist who specializes in restoring teeth and improving their appearance, you can have all of your work done in one place.
When you visit a prosthodontist rather than a general dentist, you also know that the work you are having done is of a high quality. Some general dentists may perform restorative procedures such as designing crowns and placing veneers, but they typically have received minimal training in these procedures, which are not a part of their everyday routine. Prosthodontists, on the other hand, have spend years focusing just on these procedures. Seeing a prosthodontist rather than a general dentist is akin to calling a furnace specialist rather than a general repairman when your furnace breaks.
Common Prosthodontic Procedures
Every smile is different, and your prosthodontist is likely to recommend different solutions for your teeth than for your neighbor's teeth. Here's a look at a few common prosthodontic procedures that may be used to improve your smile.
If your front teeth are stained or chipped but are otherwise in healthy condition, your prosthodontist may recommend covering them with veneers. Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are bonded to your tooth. When someone looks at your smile, they'll see the veneers rather than the stained teeth. Veneers are painless to apply, and although they take some time to get used to, they should not impact your ability to eat or drink comfortably.
Bridges are often used to replace single missing teeth. A bridge consists of a porcelain or ceramic "false tooth" and clips that are used to anchor it to the neighboring teeth. Bridges are typically used for molars and premolars, and they may be suggested by your prosthodontist if you want to replace a missing tooth without undergoing surgery.
Dental implants are surgically implanted into your jaw bone. They offer a more permanent solution for missing teeth than does a bridge. If you are missing multiple teeth, or if your remaining teeth are not strong enough to support a bridge, your prosthodontist may recommend implants.
Tooth Bleaching Procedures
If one of the reasons you're unhappy with your smile is that your teeth are stained, your prosthodontist may suggest a tooth bleaching procedure to lighten them. The tooth bleaching procedures used in a dentist's office are much stronger than the kits you can purchase over-the-counter. Your prosthodontist is only likely to recommend this procedure if he or she believes it will sufficiently whiten your teeth. For very badly stained teeth, veneers are often better option.
You don't have to go on living with a smile that makes you cringe each time you look in the mirror. Visit a prosthodontist in your area or get more info here about discuss your options. He or she will likely be able to utilize the procedures above, and perhaps some other less-common procedures, to create a brand new smile you'll love.Share
9 December 2014