Prosthodontics and periodontics are two of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.
What is a Prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist has completed three years of post-dental school training in an accredited prosthodontics residency program. Graduate programs in prosthodontics include classroom lectures, laboratory and clinical training in esthetics/cosmetics, crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, complete and removable partial dentures, dental implants, TMD-jaw joint problems, traumatic injuries to the mouth’s structures, congenital or birth anomalies to teeth, snoring, sleep disorders, and oral cancer reconstruction and continuing care.
Their training includes an extensive education in the fields of dental materials, dental implants, complete and partial removable prosthodontics, fixed prosthodontics, complex oral rehabilitation, and maxillofacial prosthodontics. A prosthodontist is an artistic dental engineer with comprehensive clinical experience whose goal is the restoration of optimal function and appearance to patients’ dentition and smile. As a result, they are masters of complete oral rehabilitation and are dedicated to the highest standards of care in the restoration and replacement of teeth.
During his prosthodontic training at The Ohio State University, Dr. Howell completed three years of clinical training and course work, which included graduate courses in advanced dental materials, implant dentistry, dentures, anatomy, pathology, dental laboratory work, and many others. As much as 25 percent of the three-year residency is spent teaching and mentoring dental students in all areas of dentistry, both in a clinical and laboratory setting. Dr. Howell had the opportunity to treat patients with a variety of concerns that included missing teeth, severe tooth wear, jaw problems, cosmetic concerns, accidents, and birth defects. Due to the complexity often involved with these types of treatments, prosthodontists are much like architects in the way of directing and orchestrating all aspects of patient care with the other dental specialists. In the case of REVIVE Dental Implant Center, Dr. Howell and Dr. Farley work in concert with our periodontist, Dr. Peterson, shoulder to shoulder to provide the best results and care.
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a dental specialist who has completed three additional years of schooling after receiving their dental doctorate. Periodontists are trained in diagnosing periodontal disease at its most early stage, and to treat the disease to full capacity. Not only are periodontists trained with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, but they are also experts in cosmetic gum procedures and the placement of dental implants. They offer a wide range of treatments including scaling and root planing, corrective gum surgery, advanced bone regenerative surgery, and the placement and maintenance of dental implants.
A periodontal residency is three additional years after dental school and is designed to provide an advanced level of education and clinical experiences in periodontology and surgical implantology for highly qualified graduate dentists who are interested in a specialty career. The goal of the program is to train residents in the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of patients with a variety of periodontal diseases and conditions. A strong emphasis is placed on preservation of periodontal supporting structures and regeneration or reconstruction of lost periodontal/alveolar structures. Replacement of missing and hopeless teeth involves all aspects of surgery related to site preparation and placement of dental implants. Periodontal and implant treatment plans are developed and coordinated with other dental specialties as indicated by the individual patient’s needs. Patient management skills are stressed, and residents are encouraged to approach all aspects of care with a biological, scientifically based rationale.
See below for some FAQs about prosthodontists and periodontics:
What treatment can prosthodontists perform?
The American Dental Association states that a prosthodontist is an expert in “restoring natural teeth or replacing missing teeth.” This means that most dental services like crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, and cosmetic dentistry are services that a prosthodontist performs. Some additional services like extractions and simple surgery are also done by some prosthodontists. Maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile is also one of the main concerns of the prosthodontist.
What treatment can periodontists perform?
Periodontists are specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of teeth. They can also preform cosmetic procedures involving dental implants. Periodontists are gum experts and can treat inflamed or infected gums.
Can I expect to pay higher fees to a prosthodontist or periodontist?
The short answer to this is sometimes. It would have to depend on your perspective for the care you are receiving. Consider that prosthodontists and periodontists are very familiar with complex treatment, and you are potentially paying for their expertise that may save you time and money in the long run.
Do I need a referral from another dentist to see a prosthodontist or periodontist?
No. Although prosthodontists and periodontists are often referred patients by general dentists and specialists, it is not required.
Who can benefit from seeing a prosthodontist/periodontist team of specialists?
- You are unsatisfied with your current or past dental work
- You have a reoccurring dental issue that others have failed to solve for you
- You suffer from medical concerns that have attributed to your severe dental decay and/or dry mouth
- You need crowns/bridges and want to seek the care of a specialist in this treatment
- You are missing teeth
- You have severely worn-down teeth
- You grind and/or clench your teeth, with or without associated pain
- You have interest in what dental implants can do for you and your missing teeth
- You have difficulty with your current dentures
- You are concerned with the quality of your dental care
- You need a dentist that can restore the optimal appearance and function to your smile
- You need a dentist with advanced training in esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth
For more information on periodontics please visit https://www.perio.org/.