What is a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontist Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast

When it comes to good oral health, quality is our focus

At The Smile Pros Dental we pride ourselves on quality care and exceptional skills. Although many modern dental practices offer cosmetic and restorative treatment options, general dentists often graduate with limited exposure of orthodontics, oral implants or often without even doing a single porcelain veneer.

What is a prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is a specialist dentist.

The term “prostho” means replacement and “dontist” refers to teeth. All prosthodontists are dentists but less than 2% of dentists are prosthodontists. They have completed dental school, plus an additional minimum of three years of full time advanced training and education from an accredited university.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency defines prosthodontics as:
“The branch of dentistry that deals with the restoration and maintenance of oral health, function and appearance by coronal alteration or reconstruction of the natural teeth, or the replacement of missing teeth and contiguous oral and maxillofacial tissues with substitutes.”

A prosthodontist is the cosmetic specialist in the restoration and replacement of missing teeth. They are more skilled and qualified to perform prosthodontic treatments than a general dentist.

How do you become a prosthodontist?

Specialist registration requires, at least three years of full time education at an accredited university and teaching hospital involving scientifically based training in the dynamics of a smile and the preservation of a healthy mouth. This is in addition to two years general practice experience after first graduating as a general dentist. The general dentist must pass numerous written and oral exams during training at a university affiliated institution to gain the title of specialist, such as orthodontist, periodontist or prosthodontist.

Advantages of specialists

In addition to their extra education, specialists offer some other fundamental differences from general dentists. Firstly, you can feel secure in knowing that the specialist has seen many cases with your particular challenge, staying focused on one particular section of dentistry. The generalist, when trying to master many different subdivisions of dentistry may not have had such extensive knowledge and experience with your particular problem.

The second advantage in that a specialist will have access to all the necessary equipment needed. With every patient requiring something different, it is difficult for a general dentist to own and operate all the different equipment. According to Dr Beresford, “we have invested in a state-of-the-art, digital dental laboratory with several digital manufacturing processes. This facility allows same day teeth, digital and analogue smile design and a full range of solutions required for each individual patient.”

An important choice

Dr Darryl Beresford from The Smile Pros Dental in Mermaid Waters, is one of a small number of registered specialist prosthodontists who has additional university training in implant surgery, as well as restoration. He explained that “prosthodontists maintain and restore aesthetics, health, comfort and function by replacing missing teeth with veneers, crowns, dentures and dental implants using scientifically proven materials”.

“They are specialists in cosmetic dentistry. Their rigorous training and experience, gives prosthodontists a special understanding of the dynamics of the smile and they are masters of oral rehabilitation”.

When it comes to your medical needs, you want the most skilled and experienced person to deal with your dental objectives. As Dr Beresford puts it, “the choice you make is important. There is only one of you, you are special. Dental implants and complex restorative dentistry can change your life but can be invasive and the results of a poor decision can be difficult to rectify.”

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