Prosthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the restoration and replacement of teeth. It is one of the nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Prosthodontists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues. Prosthodontists specialize in the restoration of natural teeth, as well as the replacement of missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, dentures, and other prosthetic devices.
They also specialize in the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, facial pain, and sleep apnea. Prosthodontists are trained to work with other dental specialists to provide comprehensive care for their patients. Prosthodontists provide a wide range of services to their patients. These services include:
- Crowns: Crowns are used to restore a tooth that has been damaged or decayed.
A crown is a cap that covers the entire visible portion of a tooth above the gum line. Crowns can be made from porcelain, metal, or a combination of both.
- Bridges: Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two crowns that are placed on either side of the missing tooth and connected by a false tooth in between. Bridges can be made from porcelain, metal, or a combination of both.
- Dentures: Dentures are removable prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth.
They can be full or partial dentures depending on how many teeth need to be replaced. Dentures can be made from acrylic resin or metal.
- Implants: Implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. Implants can be used to support crowns, bridges, or dentures.
- TMJ Treatment: Prosthodontists specialize in the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Treatment may include splints, orthodontics, or surgery.
- Facial Pain Treatment: Prosthodontists can diagnose and treat facial pain caused by TMJ disorders or other conditions.
Treatment may include splints, orthodontics, or surgery.
- Sleep Apnea Treatment: Prosthodontists can diagnose and treat sleep apnea with oral appliances such as mandibular advancement devices (MADs). MADs are custom-made devices that fit over the upper and lower teeth to help keep the airway open during sleep.
Prosthodontists provide a wide range of services including crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, TMJ treatment, facial pain treatment, and sleep apnea treatment. They work closely with other dental specialists to provide comprehensive care for their patients.