When a patient is in the need of comprehensive dental treatment that involves multiple dental implants, implant supported dentures, ALL ON 4, Teeth in a Day, bite reconstruction using multiple crowns and bridges or any major restorative work, the general dentist refer the patient to a specialists known as Prosthodontist. More often patients seek out the service of a Prosthodontist when they face problems like difficulty chewing because of multiple missing back teeth and bad bite, erosion of teeth and bite collapse or unsalvageable dentition requiring extraction and reconstruction with implant supported dentures, TMJ pain etc. The general public is not very familiar with the specialty of Prosthodontics.
Prosthodontics, also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry, is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Prosthodontics is the only dental specialty under which the concentration of Cosmetic/Esthetic and Implant dentistry falls. Hence it is highly advisable to get the service of a Prosthodontist when considering any dental treatment that may involve dental implants, crowns, veneers, esthetic dentures or full mouth reconstruction to receive the highest quality of service.
The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) ensures standards are maintained in the field. Becoming a prosthodontist requires an additional three years of postgraduate specialty training after obtaining a dental degree. Training consists of rigorous clinical and didactic preparation in the basic sciences, head and neck anatomy, biomedical sciences, biomaterial sciences, function of occlusion (bite), TMJ, and treatment planning and experience treating full-mouth reconstruction cases, and esthetics. Due to this extensive training, prosthodontists are required to treat complex cases, full-mouth rehabilitation, TMJ-related disorders, congenital disorders, and sleep apnea by planning and fabricating various prostheses. There are only 3,200 prosthodontists in comparison to 170,000 general dentists in the United States
According to the ADA, specialties are recognized in those areas where advanced knowledge and skills are essential to maintain or restore oral health (Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct). Not all areas in dentistry will satisfy the requirements for specialty recognition. Acknowledged by the profession, the contributions of such and their endeavors are encouraged. The American Dental Association does not recognize Cosmetic Dentistry as a specialty. Prosthodontics is the only dental specialty under which the concentration of cosmetic/esthetic dentistry falls. General dentists may perform some simple cosmetic procedures. Consequently, there are questions regarding whether it is ethical for general dentists to treat “smile makeovers” or complex cosmetic and full-mouth reconstruction cases, as they are not qualified to address the complex needs of the patient. Likewise, there is no specialty recognized by the ADA for dental implants. So if you are a patient looking for major restorative work, you may find a prosthodontist in your area by visiting the The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) website.
Dr.Devi DDS.MS is a Prosthodontist licensed in AZ. Dr.Devi can be reached at (480)488-9655.