Prosthodontics is a branch of dentistry also called dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry. The speciality deals with the development and implantation of tooth substitutes for diseased, missing or injured teeth.
The type of diseases and conditions that may be managed by a prosthodontic specialist include:
- Lost, injured or decayed teeth
- Planning appropriate biological and biocompatible substitutes that could replace part or whole of the injured or damaged tooth
- Replacement of the tooth with the prosthetic substitute
- Assisting a patient in regaining any loss of function with regard to chewing or speaking that their tooth loss may have caused
- Advising patients on adequate care for the tooth implant and maintenance of good oral hygiene to prevent further need for intervention
- Addressing cosmetic issues regarding lost teeth such as realigning teeth to restore a smile that has been altered by the loss
- Dealing with problems arising from the temporomandibular joint or the joint of the jaws to the skull at the base of the ear
After initial training at dental school, a prosthodontic dentist specializes in the aesthetic or cosmetic restoration of the teeth for an additional three to four years.
In the Unites States, training is approved by the American College of Prosthodontists. The certificates are provided by the American Board of Prosthodontics. The American Dental Association does not provide a separate degree in cosmetic dentistry and prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that must be followed by a dentist who wants to specialise in cosmetic correction.