A beautiful smile is important to your health, hygiene, confidence, and self-esteem. At our office, we can help you have the most attractive, natural-looking smile possible through advanced prosthodontic care. Prosthodontics, or prosthetic dentistry, is an area of dentistry that concentrates on the aesthetic restoration and replacement of teeth to their proper form and function.
As a comprehensive dental practice, we offer our patients a wide range of prosthodontic treatments. Prosthodontic care focuses on complete oral rehabilitation and treatment of numerous dental conditions, such as:
- Traumatic injuries to the mouth’s structures
- Congenital or birth anomalies to teeth
- Snoring and sleep disorders
- Oral cancer reconstruction and continuing care
How is a Prosthodontist Different from Other Dentists and Dental Specialists?
Your general dentist is a provider who performs your primary services, such as your checkup and cleanings. A general dentist can also perform various restorative treatments, including fillings, crowns, and bridges, even dental implants. The difference between a general dentist and a prosthodontist is additional training. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Bentz has completed three additional years of residency training after finishing dental school. During these three years, he spent countless hours honing his skills related to the most complex cases, including full-mouth rehabilitation, the treatment of TMJ disorder, and more.
What is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics is a recognized area of dentistry that requires specialized training in various areas. These include the diagnosis and treatment of complex dental cases. It also includes rehabilitation and maintenance of the appearance, comfort, and function of the mouth after a dental or facial injury.
What is a Prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who has continued their education to involve the advanced techniques related to the creation of dental crowns, bridges, dentures, and the performance of dental implant treatment. This specialist also has advanced training in cosmetic dental treatments. A prosthodontist is usually the specialist that a general dentist will refer patients to for TMJ treatment, full-mouth reconstruction, significant occlusal disorders, and other complex situations.
Is Prosthodontics the Same as Dentures?
Denture treatment is one aspect of prosthodontic care, but there is much more to this area of specialty than that. In fact, your general dentist may offer denture services. The reason you might choose a prosthodontist instead of a general dentist for denture treatment is that this specialist has focused an additional three years of training on the performance of tooth-replacement techniques.
Why Should I See A Prosthodontist?
You might choose to see a prosthodontist for more advanced dental procedures related to tooth loss or severe injury. You may schedule a visit to discuss your options for treating TMJ disorder that hasn't improved with rest and conservative therapies. Dr. Bentz has extensive training in advanced dental procedures and techniques that can restore, repair, rehabilitate, and enhance your smile. That said, you can also choose our practice for many of your routine dental needs, as well.
Prosthodontic Treatment Options
In order to restore your smile, we may recommend the following prosthodontic treatments:
A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite. A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
Crowns are a restoration used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay. Think of a crown as a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth which fully covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
An implant is an artificial tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s composed of two main parts: one is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the second part is the tooth-colored crown that is cemented on top of the implant. With dental implants, you can smile confidently knowing that no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.
Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth made by your dentist that are removable. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are attached to a metal frame that is connected to your natural teeth and are used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed.
A filling is often used to repair a tooth that is affected by wear, decay, cracks, or fractures. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth is removed and replaced with a filling, which can be made up of many different materials, such as gold, porcelain, composite, ceramic, and plastic compound.
Occlusal Disease Treatment
Occlusal disease is caused by a misalignment between the teeth of the upper and lower dental arches, also called malocclusion. If left untreated, occlusal disease and can damage your teeth, the supporting bones and gums around your teeth, temporomandibular joints, and the jaw muscles you use for chewing. Many people dismiss excessive or abnormally accelerated tooth wear as natural aging or wearing of teeth, however, prosthodontic treatment can alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by occlusal disease.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain, designed to cover the front side of your teeth. Veneers are natural in appearance and a great option for patients who want to make adjustments to the look and feel of their smile.