One of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, prosthodontics refers to the use of dental prosthetics to restore the beauty, function, and health of a patient’s mouth after tooth damage or loss. To become a prosthodontist, a dentist must complete three years of additional study after earning their dental degree. Considered one of the more rigorous courses of post-graduate study, of the 170,000 general dentists in the U.S., only about 3200 are certified prosthodontists. Dr. David Zelby, your Atlanta prosthodontist, discusses just a few of the key aspects of this demanding, yet rewarding, field.
What Problems Does Prosthodontics Address?
In a nutshell, prosthodontists can treat or replace missing or damaged teeth. Of course, the everyday practice of prosthodontics covers a huge range of problems including:
- Chipped, decayed, or broken teeth
- One or more missing teeth
- Full mouth rehabilitation
- Pain and wear associated with TMJ disorders
- Reconstruction after trauma or disease (such as oral cancer)
A trained prosthodontist strives to return your normal ability to chew and speak, as well as restore and even enhance the beauty of your smile. To achieve optimal results, a prosthodontist must possess both clinical skill and an artist’s eye.
Dental Implants: The Cutting Edge of Tooth Replacement
Whether a person loses a single tooth or is missing multiple teeth, a prosthodontist might recommend dental implants for tooth replacement. While dental implants may not be the best option for every patient, those who qualify describe having a dental implant as indistinguishable from having a natural tooth. Instead of resting above the gum line, dental implants are surgically inserted into the jaw and mimic the crown-and-root structure of a real tooth. This results in a level of stability and security unmatched by any other dental prosthetic. A skilled prosthodontist can use a dental implant capped with a crown to replace a single tooth or he can secure a bridge, partial denture, or full dentures using implants.
Dental Prosthetics Options for Every Patient
Dental implants do not work for every patient. Luckily, prosthodontists have a full arsenal of tooth replacement and reparative options to fit everyone’s unique needs. These options include:
- Cosmetic dental bonding
- Partial dentures
- Full dentures
Every patient has singular needs and a skilled prosthodontist will develop a customized treatment plan to address each individual case.
Missing or Damaged Teeth in Atlanta
If you live with the discomfort, embarrassment, and reduced quality of life associated with missing or damaged teeth, call Dr. David Zelby at (770) 955-0550. Dr. Zelby and the expert team at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta can return your smile to optimal health, function, and beauty. Our Atlanta dentist office proudly serves patients in Marietta, Smyrna, East Cobb, Vinings, Buckhead and the Metro Atlanta region.