Prosthodontics is the specialized field of dentistry concerned with diagnosing, planning and executing restorative and cosmetic treatments. Dentists who choose to specialize in prosthodontics must complete three or four more years of dedicated training following dental school.
Who Becomes a Prosthodontist?
For starters, it takes a good deal of training and discipline to become a prosthodontist. Along with the regular dental school training that all members of their profession must complete, prosthodontists must also undergo another three to four years of additional training. Prosthodontists in Houston and throughout the U.S. receive their education from a graduate program accredited by the American Dental Association.
The reason for this additional training becomes clear when you realize that prosthodontists are responsible for diagnosing, planning and executing a wide range of restorative and cosmetic treatments. The dental procedures they specialize include restoring missing tooth and jaw structures, installing or repairing dental implants, and treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. In a nutshell, a prosthodontist first formulates a comprehensive treatment plan, then helps the patient execute it by means of the latest dental techniques and technologies.
What Does a Prosthodontist Do?
Galleria Dental prosthodontists are well equipped to perform effective, painless treatments that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. In many cases, they carry out procedures that replace natural teeth or serve as a natural-looking replacement for part of an existing tooth. Some of the treatments offered at our Houston prosthodontist clinic include the following:
Dental implants—Implants are designed to replace an entire tooth via the implantation of a titanium root in the jawbone. This screw-like post becomes fixed in much the same way as natural tooth roots. Due to their durability and lifelike look and feel, dental implants are often a popular restorative option among patients and prosthodontists alike.
Dental veneers—These wafer-thin covers made of a porcelain/ceramic material bond to the surfaces of natural teeth. Veneers are meant to change the size, shape or color of teeth, as well as correct issues such as uneven or stained teeth, as well as chips, cracks and other signs of decay. With the efforts of a trained Houston prosthodontist, the effect is virtually seamless.
Dental crowns—Generally made from porcelain, metal or a combination of the two, artificial crowns (or caps) cover the visible surface of the tooth. Crowns are cemented to a pre-existing tooth with intact roots that became damaged in a collision accident or after a root canal procedure. They can last up to ten years or more, although occasional maintenance in the interim may be required.
Dental bridges—A time-tested method for replacing one or more teeth, dental bridges perform a variety of functions, including supporting natural teeth and/or dental implants used as anchors. The healthy teeth, also known as abutment teeth, help to reinforce the bridge so that the implants can remain standing and the overall structure of the teeth and jawline remains stable.
Complete and partial dentures—There are a variety of options for patients to choose from where dentures are concerned, including complete and partial dentures. The first type of dentures can be created for people without any viable teeth, while the latter type is for those who have lost some or many, but not all, of their natural teeth.