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Should I Visit a General Dentist or a Prosthodontist?

August 12, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drjohnson @ 4:58 pm

working on dental prostheticDuring dental school, all dentists receive the same basic training. Then, they have the option to go into practice or pursue a residency that provides them with specialized training. Some dentists go on to become a prosthodontist, an expert who focuses on creating dental prosthetics. But since many general dentists also offer prosthetics, such as bridges and dentures, the question arises — is there any point in visiting a prosthodontist in San Diego? Yes! Let’s discuss why a prosthodontist’s skills are so valuable and why you should consider visiting one.

The Value of Prosthodontics

After dental school, a prosthodontist spends three years gaining an in-depth knowledge of prosthodontics. They acquire an intimate understanding of how the oral structures work together to function well. For example, they learn all about the mechanics of a healthy bite and how the teeth should fit together. They also delve into the intricacies of creating natural-looking, comfortable bridges, dentures, and other types of restorations. General dentists, on the other hand, possess a working knowledge of such concepts but lack true expertise.

Often, a prosthodontist works alongside other dentists and serves as the “quarterback” of a team that is addressing a particularly complex case. They coordinate various treatments and play a key role in ensuring the best possible outcome for the patient.

When to Visit a Prosthodontist

Many patients visit a prosthodontist for routine dental care, including their biannual exams. You can choose to do so as well. That way, you will always have a true expert ready to help you if you ever require reconstructive dental care.

It is especially recommended that you visit a prosthodontist if:

  • You are looking to replace missing teeth with a bridge, dentures, or dental implants.
  • You have an old dental prosthetic that you believe needs to be replaced, or you are interested in a more natural-looking and natural-feeling alternative.
  • You have complex dental issues and may require full mouth reconstruction.
  • You are interested in improving your smile with porcelain veneers.
  • You struggle with a misaligned bite that is causing jaw pain.
  • You suffer from bruxism (involuntary teeth grinding).

Some prosthodontists offer a number of other specialized services. For example, if you are finding it difficult to sleep well, you may have obstructive sleep apnea. In that case, a prosthodontist may be able to fit you with a special appliance to help you breathe easier at night.

Many general dentists are quite good at what they do, but they do not have the same level of training and expertise as a prosthodontist. If you are looking for someone to care for your smile — or to rebuild your smile altogether — a prosthodontist may be the perfect fit for you.

About the Author

Dr. Peter F. Johnson is a board-certified prosthodontist in the San Diego area. He has many years of experience and is an active member of several prestigious professional organizations. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Johnson, his services, or prosthodontists in general, contact our office today at  619-463-3737.

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