The American College of Prosthodontists has created a new patient-oriented website called "Go to a Pro". Check it out at www.gotoapro.org
The American College of Prosthodontists is a wonderful resource for information about Prosthodontists – who they are and what they can do for you. Here is a summary and a link to their website:
WHAT IS A PROSTHODONTIST?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Prosthodontists complete two to three years of graduate education after dental school, in a program accredited by the American Dental Association.
WHAT IS A BOARD CERTIFIED PROSTHODONTIST?
Less than half of 1% of dentists in the U.S. are Board Certified Prosthodontists. These Board Certified Prosthodontists are prosthodontists that have gone on to pass extensive examinations by the American Board of Prosthodontics. This examination process involves several examinations over a period of years. Only Board Certified Prosthodontists can use the title "Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics," and "Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists." About 20% of practicing prosthodontists are Board Certified.
WHAT DENTAL PROCEDURES DOES A PROSTHODONTIST PERFORM?
Prosthodontists are experts in dental rehabilitation. They utilize crowns, bridges, veneers, removable partial dentures, dentures and dental implants to restore function, comfort and esthetics.
IS A PROSTHODONTIST DIFFERENT FROM A "COSMETIC DENTIST"?
The American Dental Association does not include "cosmetic dentistry" as a specialty. Prosthodontists receive extensive education and experience in dental esthetics and function during their graduate programs. Cosmetic seminars are usually limited to weekend or possibly weeklong courses.
WILL THE PROSTHODONTIST COMPLETE ALL OF MY REQUIRED TREATMENT?
Prosthodontists can be viewed as "architects" of your dental treatment. They have the vision of your final outcome, both the esthetics of your smile and the improved function of your bite. Often other dental specialists participate in treatment to help establish a solid foundation for your restorations. Every prosthodontist develops a treatment plan customized for each individual patient, and determine if treatment from additional specialists are necessary.
ARE YOU MISSING ONE OR MORE TEETH?
Tooth loss creates esthetic and functional problems. Unwanted changes in your chewing ability and in your facial appearance affect your confidence and self-esteem. A prosthodontist is the dental specialist uniquely qualified to restore the appearance of your smile and help you regain optimum function of your teeth. Click to learn more about a single or a few missing teeth.
Many factors contribute to missing teeth - some people are born without certain teeth, and some lose teeth because of disease, injury, and wear from clenching or grinding. Depending on the number of missing teeth, the condition of the remaining teeth and your desires, teeth may be replaced by implant-supported crowns/bridges, conventional fixed bridges or removable partial dentures - only a specialist knows for sure.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN DENTAL IMPLANTS?
In the past three decades the use of dental implants has progressed from the extreme to the conservative. Initially implants were used only in patients missing all of their teeth. Now implants are used for replacement of a single tooth, multiple teeth or an entire arch of teeth with a high degree of success. Depending on the condition of your mouth and your desires, a prosthodontist can recommend the type of treatment right for you.
DO YOU WEAR DENTURES?
When dealing with extensive decay and/or periodontal (gum) disease, many people must resort to dentures to replace their natural teeth. Over time, the jawbone shrinks, and successfully wearing dentures becomes more and more of a challenge. Using skills and techniques based on research and experience, a prosthodontist possesses the ability to provide the best possible custom-fitted dentures. Your prosthodontist may recommend dental implants to stabilize the denture and prevent your jawbone from excessive shrinking.
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR SMILE?
The concepts and rules dictating the development of a pleasing smile were determined by prosthodontists almost a century ago. Prosthodontists receive extensive training in the correction of esthetic imbalances of a smile during their specialty training programs. Doesn't your smile deserve a specialist's care?