WHAT IS A PROSTHODONTIST? (& WHO SHOULD SEE ONE?)
What is a prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating complex dental and facial matters, including the restoration and replacement of missing or damaged teeth with artificial prostheses. They are highly trained in procedures such as dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, jaw disorders, and more.
The American Dental Association recognizes 12 official dental specialties. Be aware that “cosmetic dentistry” and “implantology” are not included on that list, despite some practitioners marketing themselves as such.
Aren’t all dentists the same?
Like all dentists, prosthodontists start their careers in dental school where they learn about all aspects of dentistry (dental hygiene, fillings, crowns, partial/complete dentures, root canals, extractions, etc.). That is where the similarity ends. After obtaining their dental degree, they go on to pursue three additional years of advanced training and education in a CODA-accredited graduate program, focusing specifically on the field of prosthodontics. So instead of just 4 years of dental school, a prosthodontist spends 7 years (or more), with the last three years focusing solely on the more advanced aspects of restoring and replacing teeth.
Prosthodontic training goes beyond the physical act of just filling in missing spaces. An important part of advanced education is learning about the science of dentistry. Even after graduation, prosthodontists are always keeping up with the latest in the dental literature, thanks to organizations such as the American College of Prosthodontists and other professional groups. This enables them to make important decisions about your dental health based on actual scientific evidence and not just what “feels right” or what the latest market trends are.
An important aspect of being a good clinician is knowing when something is outside one’s field of expertise. This is where prosthodontists shine. Part of their advanced training involves learning how to be the architects of complex treatment plans involving multiple specialists and auxiliary staff. When such an approach is necessary, prosthodontists naturally take on the role of leadership in guiding the team to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Why choose a prosthodontist?
Choose a prosthodontist because of their advanced education, training, and expertise. They are legitimate dental specialists who have dedicated years of their professional lives to pursuing excellence in dentistry. This makes them uniquely qualified to manage a wide range of dental scenarios, whether you are looking to:
- Rejuvenate your existing smile
- Replace some missing teeth or even to
- Reconstruct your entire dentition
If you are looking to have any type of restorative or prosthetic dental work done, and if you want to ensure you get the best care you deserve, get the opinion of a real specialist – a prosthodontist.
About Dr. Daniel Tan
Dr. Tan received his graduate certificate in Advanced Prosthodontics from The University of Southern California, one of the top rated Prosthodontic programs in the U.S. He received numerous scholarship awards as a resident and is recognized by his patients to be kind, compassionate, and gentle. He strongly believes all patients deserve to be treated with dignity, honesty, and respect. This means they have the right to know what their problems are, as well as all the various options available for them, before they ultimately decide on their treatment plan.
Dr. Tan offers a complimentary consultation. If you have restorative needs and want a specialist’s care, come see him and learn about what ALL your options are. All it costs is your time!