Prosthodontics is a growing field dealing with tooth or jaw issues, and many dentists are choosing to pursue an education in this field. If you find that you need complex dental work completed, these professionals can provide this service at an affordable price. Here are some important key terms related to this field.
Prosthodontics – This is a dentist that specializes in the study of the cosmetic restoration of the oral cavity. This professional works to restore the appearance and function of the mouth by using prostheses.
TMD – This is a term that refers to ailments that affect the temporomandibular joint that connects the mandible to the skull. Though there a several underlying reasons for this disorder, many times it can be alleviated by examining the bite discrepancies in the patient and creating a prosthesis that deals with the issue.
Implantology – A dental implant made out of titanium is placed in the jaw and fitted with prostheses that are either fixed or removable. These can have various shapes and be inserted in different positions to accommodate the patient's needs. As each patient is unique, there is no set price point for implantology.
Palatal Lift Prosthesis – This prosthesis is placed in the roof of the mouth to address palatopharyngeal incompetence. This condition is when an individual can’t close off the nasal cavity from the mouth. This results in difficulty in speech, sometimes making the speaker unintelligible. This prosthesis displaces the soft palate, allowing the individual to speak clearly and swallow. Research is still being done as to the best way to treat this disorder.
Dentures – This is a prosthetic device, often called false teeth, that is used to replace missing teeth. Dentures can be partial or full, are removable and designed for comfort and durability.
Dental prosthetics include implants, crowns and fixed dentures, both full and partial. They are used as a means of restoration, to return a person's mouth to its original state.
Prosthodontics are a dental specialty, although in some cases they may be fitted by a maxillofacial and oral surgeon or an ENT surgeon. They are used as a substitute for more traditional, removable false teeth. Or a prosthodontist might replace a single lost tooth, for example as a result of an accident. Especially in younger patients, missing teeth can have an effect on self esteem. They may also do complete maxillofacial reconstruction after an accident.
Prosthodontists also work with patients with congenital deformities of the tooth and jaw. They may do complicated surgery to restore normality. Simple prosthodontic techniques may be done by a regular dentist, including the fitting of replaceable dentures and fixed bridges and inserting crowns. They generally refer only complicated cases to a prosthodontist.
In many cases, by the time a prosthodontist sees a patient, the broad outline of the problem has already been diagnosed. Complete treatment may require surgery or it may simply be a matter of restoring the upper part of a tooth or teeth. Prosthodontic restoration is commonly required after endodontic treatment, that is to say the dreaded root canal. Endodontic treatment is a last resort to save a particularly badly damaged tooth and the two often become linked.
Prosthodontics may also be connected to orthodontics, that is to say straightening teeth. In most cases the ugly wire braces are no longer used, having been replaced by less obvious devices. In some cases, however, tooth reconstruction or alteration may be used to fix severe orthodontic problems. They may also advise on the maintenance and care of artificial teeth.
All of these specialists work together to sustain and improve oral health.