What is the Difference Between Prosthodontics and Orthodontics?

Orthodontics and prosthodontics are two types of dental specialists that offer specialized care. Most people have heard of orthodontists but are often unfamiliar with prosthodontists. The easiest way to describe the difference between the two is that orthodontists treat teeth that are already there, while prosthodontists deal with things that may not be there anymore.

Prosthodontics focuses on replacing missing or damaged teeth with artificial devices like dental implants, dentures, and bridges. Prosthodontists also work with people who have jaw disorders or need facial reconstructive surgery.

The ADA-recognized specialty of prosthodontics requires an additional 3 years of training after dental school. This extra time spent focusing on the restoration of teeth and jaws gives prosthodontists a unique perspective on the entire oral cavity. This includes a deeper knowledge of how the mouth functions as a whole and the ability to address problems with the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that cause pain or discomfort during activities such as chewing, yawning, or sleeping.

A prosthodontist can replace a single missing tooth or an entire set of teeth with caps, crowns, bridges, and dentures. They also work with dental laboratory technicians who produce these restorations based on the specifications provided by the prosthodontist. Unlike general dentists, prosthodontists have a thorough understanding of how to place these artificial replacements and can ensure that they fit properly.

Orthodontics, on the other hand, specializes in treating misaligned teeth and improper bites with dental appliances like braces. This enables them to correct the alignment of teeth and improve the function and appearance of the smile. They can also help guide facial growth in children, preventing the need for more advanced or invasive treatment in adulthood.

Although many dentists are able to perform certain prosthetic orthodontic procedures, it is important to find a specialist. This is because the process is complex and requires a great amount of skill and expertise. Only a certified prosthodontist will be able to deliver the results that you’re hoping for.

If you’re experiencing a problem with your smile, make an appointment with a general dentist who can determine whether or not you need to visit a prosthodontist. They will be able to assess your condition and recommend the best treatment for you.

General dentistry consists of cleanings, fillings and other preventative treatments to keep your teeth and gums healthy. For more complex issues, you will be referred to a prosthodontist. This specialized dentist offers a range of services to repair, restore and replace your natural teeth, as well as restoring other parts of your face and jaw. They are highly trained in dental implants, bridges, crowns, dentures and a host of other treatments that will enhance the quality of your smile. In addition to repairing and replacing existing teeth, prosthodontists can also create false ones with dentures or artificial implants. This is known as prosthetic orthodontics and it’s a popular choice for patients with broken or missing teeth. They can also construct obturators, which are appliances that close off defects in the roof of the mouth from cases such as cleft palate.