|What Services Does a Prosthodontist Provide?
Posted on 8/10/2022 by Neil Starr DDS PC
|As a prosthodontist, I perform a variety of services for my patients. These services are all restorative in nature and can range from a simple filling to more advanced rehabilitative procedures. The differences between a prosthodontist, a periodontist, and a general dentist may not be as apparent to a patient. Still, it’s essential to know them so that you can receive get the oral care you need to restore your smile.
This article will talk about a few of the different services you can expect to receive from a prosthodontist and how these services can help improve your dental health.
What is a Prosthodontist?
I think it’s essential for patients to understand what a prosthodontist is, by definition. Those of us who are prosthodontists specialize in treating more complex dental and facial complications, such as restoring damaged or missing teeth. I also work with cosmetic dentistry, but restoration is the most crucial aspect of helping patients get back their smiles.
A prosthodontist works with dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, helps treat jaw disorders, and works to treat facial trauma, amongst other things.
Reasons to See a Prosthodontist
A patient might see a prosthodontist after an operation involving the mouth where teeth are cracked, chipped, broken, and lost. While a standard dentist may be able to perform some procedures pertaining to tooth damage, we, as prosthodontists, are the go-to for more severe cases. Here is a more in-depth explanation of the services you can expect from a prosthodontist.
Dental implants are one of the most common procedures a prosthodontist will perform. Dental implants restore a patient's ability to bite, chew, speak, and restore lost jaw structure. What I love about performing an implant procedure is that they offer my patients the following benefits:
Dental implants match their natural teeth. Crowns are often made from ceramic, which can be finished to match the natural tooth color perfectly. Additionally, ceramic reflects light similar to enamel, giving a patient’s implants a more authentic look.
Dental implants are a more secure option than dentures. Dentures tend to slip around and can even fall out while a patient eats, making implants a more enticing option when someone is looking to restore their natural smile. Dentures are still a viable option, especially with advancements in how we produce them today.
The titanium posts used in dental implants help stimulate the jawbone. This is a crucial aspect of dental implants because tooth loss can lead to bone deterioration within the jaw. Implants help prevent this loss, helping a patient maintain their jaw’s shape and integrity.
Dental implants can not only help a patient restore their jaw’s natural functions, but they can also restore their quality of life—this is the impact that any prosthodontist hopes to make; I know it makes me proud.
Patients may come in for a dental crown to prevent tooth loss brought on by decay or if they want to cover up cosmetic imperfections. A prosthodontist can use three types of dental crowns, and we’ll always help patients pick the right one for their needs.
All Porcelain: Porcelain crowns are the most aesthetically pleasing option that a patient can choose. However, these crowns are only recommended for the front teeth since they can fracture under intense grinding on the rear teeth. Of course, not everyone grinds their teeth, but they can also crack if you’re chewing something tough with your molars.
Gold: Gold crowns are the most durable option for dental crowns and are best used for back molars. We’ll recommend this because they’re durable enough to withstand teeth grinding, and some patients prefer to hide the gold look in the back where they can’t be seen.
Gold crowns tend to be similar to your natural teeth, which allows the tissue to adapt to the restoration process quickly—this means that a patient will need less of their tooth structure removed.
Porcelain Fused to Metal: This is a hybrid option; porcelain fused to metal crown features a metal base with porcelain attached to the outside. This is a more appealing option to patients because it provides a natural look with the added durability of metal or gold crowns.
While patients wait to create their crowns, they’ll often wear a temporary restoration to prevent any of the other teeth from shifting. If the teeth shift during the process, we may need to take new impressions because the crowns may have a hard time fitting.
Prosthodontists can also provide treatment for facial trauma. Facial trauma can significantly impact a patient's life, especially if left untreated. When I speak about facial trauma, I’m referring to things like lacerations, burns, and fractures that happen during:
Car accidents. I’ve found that car accidents are the leading cause of severe facial trauma cases that come into our office.
Falls. When a person falls on a slick surface or falls off something like a step or ladder, they can experience intense facial trauma.
Sport-related injures. These types of injuries are prevalent in high-contact sports such as football. They occur when a patient is hit with objects like a ball or bat or when they collide with another player.
Physical altercations. Fistfights can lead to facial trauma if they get physical enough.
We as prosthodontists require careful training to address facial trauma, primarily because they can occur as different types of injuries, such as soft tissue, bone, and tooth injuries. Always consult with a prosthodontist such as myself when it comes to severe issues like these—you need the best care you can get.
Schedule a Visit with Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC
If you need to visit a prosthodontist for any reason we mentioned in the article, schedule an appointment with me here at Starr Dental. As a leading prosthodontist in the Washington D.C. area, I can tackle dental issues ranging from simple teeth cleaning to complex cases such as full mouth rehabilitation.
We serve those in the greater Washington DC area, including Rockville, Potomac, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, McLean, Fairfax City, Arlington, Alexandria, and the southern part of Loudoun County. If you’re looking for the best dental care in the area and unmatched attention to detail, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.