What Is Prosthodontics? What Does a Prosthodontist Do?
You want the best for your smile and that includes choosing the best dental professionals for the job. At our Aurora prosthodontics and general dentistry practice, you are getting a dental professional who has been extensively trained in state-of-the-art techniques for treating complex dental conditions.
Let’s take a look into this specialty and why you might want to consider a prosthodontist rather than a general dentist—especially if you are seeking treatment for tooth replacement or restoration.
- What is prosthodontics?
- What is the difference between a general dentist and a prosthodontist?
- What kind of training does a prosthodontist need?
- What does a prosthodontist do?
- What are dental implants?
- Do prosthodontists do the dental implant surgery?
- Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Full Mouth Reconstruction
- What is full mouth reconstruction?
- Who is a good candidate for full mouth reconstruction?
- What procedures are involved with a full mouth reconstruction?
What is prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is the dental specialty that is focused on the restoration of a smile, and includes all the elements that go into making a smile that is as functional as it is beautiful. It includes not just the teeth but the gums, lips, and facial features. Prosthodontists also plan and carry out a full smile reconstruction, which usually involves several treatments that take place over a period of several months.
What is the difference between a general dentist and a prosthodontist?
Although a general dentist can do the same dental procedures as a prosthodontist, they may not be able to perform them at the same skill level. A prosthodontist such as Dr. John Chen of Uptown Comprehensive Dentistry and Prosthodontics receives a higher level of training and generally provides a higher quality of care for patients.
What kind of training does a prosthodontist need?
A prosthodontist is a specialized dentist who has received three additional years of training after completing four years of dental school. With Dr. Chen, you can rest assured that he has received training specifically in providing the more serious treatments that you might need, such as dental implants, dentures, and cosmetic dentistry procedures.
There is an advantage for you, the patient, when you see a prosthodontist who runs a general dentist practice because you can know that you will not have to be sent to a specialist for restorative dental care. Not only will Dr. Chen be familiar with your medical and oral health history, but you will be familiar with receiving treatment from him. This can go a long way toward calming anxiety about needing more serious dental treatment.
What does a prosthodontist do?
A prosthodontist is a specialist who plans and carries out procedures that are related to the replacement of natural teeth. Some of the treatments provided by our Aurora, CO prosthodontist include the following:
- Dental implants—It’s widely accepted that dental implants are today’s gold standard when it comes to tooth replacement. A dental implant takes the place of a tooth root and permanently integrates into the jawbone. After the healing process, which takes anywhere from three to six months, a dental crown is placed on top of the implant. This tooth restoration looks and functions very much like a natural tooth.
- Fixed bridges—When a couple of teeth are missing, a dental bridge offer tooth replacement by connecting to teeth on either side of the empty space. Called abutment teeth, the dental bridge is attached permanently to provide a stable foundation to hold up a series of dental crowns. Bridges are an effective way to replace missing teeth, but patients will need to pay special attention to ensure food debris is cleaned from the area.
- Dentures—Dentures have been a common tooth replacement option for many years, and today’s dentures are more comfortable and look more natural than ever before. Although there is a period of adjustment that goes along with wearing dentures, eventually patients will be able to chew, speak, and laugh normally.
- All-on-4—Patients at our Aurora, CO dental clinic who do not want a mouth full of dental implants but would like the same stability they offer might opt for All-on-4’s denture-meets-implant technology. With All-on-4, four dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone. After the healing process, dentures are attached to the implants, providing denture-wearers with the same stability of dental implants.
- Crowns—These artificial tooth covers are often referred to as tooth “caps” because they fit the tooth structure like a snug hat. They can be made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramic, and offer a strong, durable restoration to teeth that are fractured, broken, or misshapen.
- Porcelain veneers—These translucent shell-like covers go over the front surfaces of teeth to camouflage dental issues such as gaps, chips, or misalignment, dramatically changing the look of a smile.
What is All-on-4?
The name All-on-4 refers to all the teeth in the mouth being supported by four dental implants placed into the mouth. It’s an effective solution for patients who are missing all of their upper or lower teeth by combining the stability of dental implants with the affordability of dentures.
What are the benefits of All-on-4?
Not only does All-on-4 eliminate one of the most common patient complaints about dentures—their tendency to move or pop while denture-wearers are eating or speaking—but it also protects the health of the jawbone. When teeth are removed, the jawbone begins to shrink over time because the body no longer sends nutrients to the area when there are no tooth roots to stimulate the bone. With All-on-4, the presence of the implants helps to protect against patients developing a sunken, aged look and to preserve the facial structure.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option that are permanently integrated into the jawbone. Placed surgically, dental implants are made of titanium posts that take the place of the natural tooth root. After the healing process, Dr. Chen will place a dental crown on top of the implant to complete the restoration. With dental implants, there are no worries about moving or shifting.
Do prosthodontists do the dental implant surgery?
Although Dr. Chen is trained for implant surgery, he has chosen not to place dental implants. He feels that his limited training in this field is not comparable to the training of periodontists and oral surgeons who went through three to six extra years of schooling to perform these procedures. Dr. Chen wants the best results for the Aurora, CO patients who choose dental implants, so we work with great surgeons in the area.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
If you are considering dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth, you should know that almost anyone who has sufficient periodontal bone is a candidate for dental implants. The best way to find out if implants are a good option for you is to come into our office for a consultation. Dr. Chen will examine you to find out if dental implants are appropriate.
Full Mouth Reconstructions in Aurora
What is full mouth reconstruction?
Patients who wish to have their smiles enhanced or who need restoration after trauma or surgery might opt for full mouth reconstruction at our Aurora, CO dental clinic. A prosthodontist plays an important part in designing and detailing each step of the plan. Their expertise ensures they can treat even the most challenging and difficult dental issues.
Treatment generally involves more than one procedure, so patients can expect the entire process to take place over several months or even longer. Dr. Chen will work with you to come up with a timeline that is appropriate to your schedule and budget.
Who is a good candidate for full mouth reconstruction?
People who have been living with multiple dental issues, such as missing or damaged teeth, advanced gum disease, and decayed or infected teeth, should talk to Dr. Chen about their options. He can work with you to restore your oral health and give you a smile that looks beautiful—and functions the way it is supposed to.
What procedures are involved with a full mouth reconstruction?
A full mouth construction involves more than one dental procedure, and the treatments you need will depend on the current state of your oral health. Procedures might include a mix of the following:
- Dental implants
- Gum reshaping
- Dental crowns
- Dental bridges
- Dental bonding
- Root canal therapy
- Porcelain veneers
- Periodontal treatment
- Tissue grafting
- Tooth extractions
Call Your Aurora Prosthodontist
Find out more about cosmetic and restorative dentistry, as well as prosthodontics at our Aurora, CO dental clinic. We have the procedures available to improve your oral health. Contact us today if you have any more questions!