Here at Dental Partners of Boston, we have seven skilled prosthodontists who restore missing or damaged teeth. They are Dr. O’Toole, Dr. S. Kamachi, Dr. K. Kamachi, Dr. Park, Dr. Lau, Dr. Rivera-Zayas, and Dr. Kim. They help their patients regain the appearance and function of healthy teeth and gums. They also work to make sure the result is beautiful and natural-looking with cosmetic dentistry treatments.
The “prosth” in prosthodontics refers to prosthetics, which is what a prosthodontist uses to replace damaged teeth. A crown in one example. The damage might have come from trauma, illness, or from inconsistent dental hygiene habits. Damaged teeth often alter a person’s appearance dramatically. They can affect all areas of an individual’s life, from their personal relationships to job prospects. Even more important are the potential health consequences that come with losing teeth. Studies show that tooth loss will not only increase the risk of losing more teeth but also contributes to a long list of serious health problems. People with missing teeth are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Prosthodontists undergo postgraduate training to focus on prosthetic dentistry. They train for an additional three to four years after completing their dental school studies.
Because prosthodontists have graduated from dental school, they are qualified to perform standard dental procedures. They can treat decay and fill cavities in addition to performing restorations like tooth replacement and reconstruction using prosthetics like:
Dentures: Dentures consist of an acrylic base that fits over the gums and that replaces a full or partial set of teeth. There are removable dentures and fixed dentures.
Veneers: Dental veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or resin that sit over the exterior of a tooth. Veneers are used to improve the appearance of the teeth.
Crowns: A crown might be placed on top of a tooth or an implant. They help to enhance both the appearance and strength of the tooth.
Bridges: A prosthodontist will use a bridge to fill in the gap left by missing teeth. It consists of crowns that occupy space on either side of a missing tooth. Dental bridges are cemented into position.
Implants: Dental implants replace the root of a missing tooth. To install an implant, metal posts are placed into the patient’s jawbone. A crown is fixed to the top of this post.
Prosthodontists design, make and install prosthetics to restore damaged or missing teeth.
When Are Prosthodontists Necessary?
Replacing missing teeth and making the replacements function and look like natural teeth requires a high degree of skill. A prosthodontist can repair or replace one, several, or all of your teeth with a full-mouth reconstruction. They even provide complete smile makeovers. A regular dentist can handle the standard problems that a crown or bridge can solve. Prosthodontists take on cases at all levels of difficulty, including more complex ones.
A prosthodontist can also treat a long list of problems that may not directly involve missing teeth. Their specialty often becomes especially useful to patients with face and jaw injuries or temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Their expertise may also be useful for treating issues with snoring and sleep apnea.
Tooth loss is a fact of life, and a prosthodontist can provide essential help for someone faced with the reality of losing teeth. They have the skills to construct natural-looking prosthetics and to ensure that they function as natural teeth would.
We Can Help
Call us if you have any questions. An exam and consultation will provide you with information and a recommendation for you to consider to make an informed decision about your dental needs. We are here to help. Schedule an appointment today.