Prosthodontics in Lexington
Like many medical fields, dentistry contains a number of specialties. Prosthodontics is known for focusing on replacements for missing teeth. Some types of prosthodontic procedures are:
- Dental crowns and bridges
- Dental veneers
- Inlays and onlays
- Complete and partial dentures
A prosthodontist is a dentist who has a specialty in the replacement and cosmetic restoration of teeth. In addition to attending dental school, prosthodontists take part in an additional three years of education. They are also highly trained in dental implant dentistry, as well as congenital teeth anomalies, sleep disorders, traumatic mouth injuries, and oral cancer reconstruction.
What is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the planning, development, and placement of artificial teeth replacements, as well as those for other parts of the mouth. The goal of a prosthodontist is in preserving or restoring dental function, health and appearance.
Implant therapy is a popular type of dental restoration involving the placement of a dental implant to replace one or more missing teeth. The FDA approves and regulates these devices.
In most cases, a general dentist is able to place a dental implant. However, there are certain cases that are more complex and require a prosthodontist or other specialist. For example, a patient may need a complicated surgical procedure that requires an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Or a periodontist may need to get involved when a patient has serious periodontal disease.
A dental implant is a three-part structure composed of a titanium metal screw, an abutment and a dental crown. To place a dental implant, a prosthodontist or dentist will insert this metal screw firmly into the jawbone of the patient. Over the following months, the jawbone of the patient will fuse around this new implant to completely anchor it.
At a subsequent appointment, an abutment will be placed over the titanium screw. This provides the connection for a dental crown to be placed as a “cap” over the entire structure. The crown serves as a solid chewing surface and representation of an actual tooth.
After the placement of a new dental crown, the patient will need to practice proper oral hygiene as they should be doing routinely at home. Even though a dental implant is extremely durable, the soft tissues surrounding it can still be destroyed by periodontal disease.
Prosthodontics is only one of nine dental specialties that the American Dental Association recognizes and authorizes. In addition, prosthodontists often work with dentists in other specialties to coordinate their services so that the patient receives the best possible outcome.
An example of prosthodontists coordinating with other dentists would be a patient who has advanced gum disease and missing teeth. Moreover, the prosthodontist may closely work with a periodontist so that the periodontal disease that originally caused the teeth to be lost can be treated. Or a prosthodontist may work with an oral surgeon or orthodontist for a patient who has severe TMD issues.
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