Prosthodontics refers to a number of procedures that improve the appearance of the teeth through the use of veneers, dentures, bridges, crowns, onlays and inlays. In modern dentistry, implants are used the most often to replace lost teeth, and many prosthodontic treatments are now done with implants as the foundation. These procedures can be done by either a general dentist or a specialist called a prosthodontist.
A prosthodontist is trained as a general dentist and then receives another three years of education in prosthodontics, which is officially recognized as a specialty by Asociacion Dental Mexicana. The extra training includes numerous lectures, extensive reading, hands-on patient treatment and practice with building restorations in a lab environment.
A prosthodontist also learns how to treat the following issues:
While patients are encouraged to save their teeth whenever possible, situations arise where teeth are lost or must be removed. Missing teeth can be replaced by dentures or implants, which not only provide cosmetic enhancement but help to support the jaw and fill out the face. If teeth are crooked or discolored, veneers will greatly improve their appearance. Onlays and inlays replace old fillings and look much nicer than amalgam material. Any type of jaw reconstruction will preserve oral health, which is tied to general health in the rest of the body.