Many dentists divide their dental practice offerings into different branches. General dentistry covers routine procedures such as dental exams, diagnostics (x-rays), cleanings, fillings and root canal therapy. Restorative dentistry, as the name implies, has to do with restoring teeth. Missing teeth are replaced with dental prosthetics such as dentures, partial dentures, bridgework and dental implants. Cosmetic dentistry deals with many procedures that are considered “elective.” They include things like teeth whitening, porcelain veneers and composite fillings. There is overlap with all these branches. However, these distinctions are not recognized as specialties.
Dentists can specialize in particular fields. The American Dental Association recognizes nine specific specialties: dental public health, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and prosthodontics. These specialties require years of additional training above and beyond the four years of dental school.
The ADA has defined prosthodontics as, “The dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues, using biocompatible substitutes.”
Specialists in this area of dentistry have training in fabricating fixed and removable dentures, bridges, dental implants, crowns, inlays and onlays, in addition to other dental appliances. They are trained to be experts in repairing or replacing teeth. They often collaborate as part of a team that includes other dental professionals: the dental assistant, hygienist, dental lab technicians, general dentists and others.
Restorative Dentistry Through the Eyes of the Prosthodontist
Because of their extensive training, prosthodontists are expertly adept at treatment planning and the execution of restorative dental treatments. When a prosthodontist determines the best resolution for a dental issue like missing teeth, he or she takes many things into consideration. Prosthodontists are concerned with providing a natural look. Shading, width, length, the patient’s facial contours and tooth coloring can play a part in the finished prosthetic.
The prosthodontist is uniquely qualified to produce superior results with restorative dentistry. This area of dentistry has advanced greatly due to cutting-edge technology and significant improvements in dental materials, techniques and equipment. More dentists are choosing to specialize in the area of prosthodontics. They choose this specialty for its artistic aesthetics and the many avenues available for enhancing a patient’s smile and restoring their optimum oral health.
Village Dental NYC offers a full array of dental treatments and procedures. Dr. Lydia Legg, our prosthodontist, will ensure that your smile is the best it can be. Call us today to schedule your appointment.