If you are in need of tooth restoration, or if you are unhappy with the way your smile looks, your first inclination may be to head to a cosmetic dentist. Instead, it may be wiser to head to a prosthodontic dentist.
Most patients have never heard of a prosthodontic dentist. However, these dentists are highly regarded and certified by the American Dental Association (ADA). Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized ADA specialty. This means that dental schools instruct dentists in techniques, methods, and specialized training in prosthodontics—dental schools do not instruct dentists in cosmetic dentistry.
Prosthodontic dentists are university trained in certain types of procedures that are used in cosmetic dentistry. What’s more prosthodontic dentists receive an additional three years of post-dental school training. Of the 170,000 dentists in the United States, less than 2% are trained prosthodontists. According to Forbes Magazine, prosthodontics is the rarest dental specialty in the country.
During their extra three years of schooling, prosthodontic dentists study anatomy of the head, neck, and mouth as well as esthetics (the cosmetic part of performing procedures). These dentists are trained to be experts in the field of aesthetic dentistry. They are commonly considered the quarterbacks of implant dentistry.
Many prosthodontic dentists also help patients with maxillofacial procedures. Maxillofacial procedures are ones in which acquired and congenital defects are treated. These can be any defects of the head and neck due to trauma or injury, or they could be defects that were present at birth. However, in order to be licensed to practice maxillofacial procedures, a dentist must complete an additional year of training. This is an extra year after the three extra years required for becoming a prosthodontic dentist.
If you’re in need of cosmetic dentistry, go with a pro, a prosthodontic dentist.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC,
Emory University trained Prosthodontist.
The Right Smile Center
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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