Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is the dental specialty involving crowns, fixed partial dentures (bridges), removable partial dentures, complete dentures, maxillofacial prostheses, and implant prostheses.
What is a Prosthodontist?
Only 3 percent of the population knows what prosthodontists are and what they do. As with other dentists, prosthodontists complete four years of dental school, obtaining a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree. Like other dental specialists, prosthodontists receive additional training: three years of formal education in an American Dental Association certified program, which leads to a specialty certificate, or a master's degree (M.S.), or both. Upon completing the advanced training, prosthodontists become board eligible and may take an examination requiring two years or more to complete, to become board certified. Because it is a very challenging and demanding examination, only 30 percent of all prosthodontists become board certified.
A prosthodontist specializes in replacing damaged tooth structure, missing teeth, and hard and soft tissues of the mouth and face. Prosthodontists deal with crowns, bridges, partial dentures, complete dentures, overdentures, dental implants, and rebuilding of worn-out dentitions. Additionally, prosthodontists restore the proper bite relationship, treat facial pain and jaw joint problems, restore function and esthetics to traumatic injury victims, or cancer, cleft palate, or lip patients. Difficult cosmetic, technical, or functional problems are referred to the prosthodontist for treatment. Geriatric patients, along with patients having hypertension, heart conditions, diabetes, and other high risk systemic problems, are also routinely seen by the prosthodontist for management of their dental problems. Some prosthodontists, who receive additional training as maxillofacial prosthodontists, literally rebuild lost facial structure, such as eyes, nose, and large segments of the face, with appliances. Prosthodontists, in coordination with other specialists and general dentists, orchestrate overall solutions to a patient's dental problems.
At the UI College of Dentistry, prosthodontics is a very challenging field, and a very rewarding specialty.