In Washington, USA, Bellevue has the highest per-capita percentage of prosthodontists in the country. With over 30 practicing prosthodontist in Bellevue, it is known for having highly detailed prosthetics capable of restoring form and function to their patients’ lives. What does a prosthodontist do?
Prescribe Prosthetic Devices
Prosthetic devices (also called prosthetics) are intended to replace a missing body part or enhance an existing piece of the body. The word “prosthesis” can be defined as anything that substitutes for something else, especially an artificial device used to replace a missing part of the body. The devices can either be internal, such as an artificial heart valve, or external and typically made of metal and plastic and attached to the body with screws.
Treat Dental Issues
Prosthodontists also work on repairing teeth that have been damaged by disease or injury. The prosthodontist will then prescribe treatment to fix these issues, such as crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures.
A prosthodontist carries out these two procedures:
Oral Rehabilitation Procedures
This type of procedure is used to restore oral function and the symmetry of a patient’s face. The first step involves a thorough assessment of the oral cavity by examining the teeth, the tissues, the alveolar bone, and the muscles of mastication. The examination is usually followed by a treatment plan which may involve taking x-rays so that the prosthodontist can review them for further study.
In orthognathic surgery, corrective jaw surgery, or corrective jaw orthopedics (CJO), dentists reshape and reposition the jaw to improve a patient’s occlusion (bite) and aesthetic appearance. Orthognathic surgery is typically performed on adolescents who are still growing or adults who have experienced significant recent lower jaw growth.
These procedures are psychologically driven by patients’ desires to enhance their smiles. Cosmetic procedures are carried out in stages. The initial procedure may include tooth bleaching to improve the appearance of natural teeth, gum lift procedures to change their position, and smile design principles that will enhance the appearance of a patient’s teeth.
There is also orthodontic treatment or dental braces which straighten crooked or irregularly positioned teeth. This treatment can be used for functional reasons to improve a patient’s ability to chew or speak. It can also be employed for cosmetic purposes where it is intended to make a face appear smaller, more proportionate, and attractive.
Dental Implant Procedures
A prosthodontist has comprehensive knowledge and skills in providing dental implant procedures and will take x-rays of the jaw bone region before providing a dental implant. A dental implant is a post inserted and held in place by the surrounding bone to support one or more artificial teeth. A crown, root canal treatment, or other restorative procedures may be required depending on where the damage has occurred on the natural tooth.
Dentists can provide three different types of prostheses for patients who have lost their teeth. They are partial dentures, complete dentures, and implant-supported overdentures. Partial or full dentures may be used in cases where some natural teeth remain or to replace missing teeth. This type of treatment improves a patient’s ability to chew their food and speak effectively. Denture care is also critical, affecting a patient’s self-esteem and quality of life.
Prosthodontists provide dental services that go beyond the dentist’s role. Their expertise extends to restoring appearance and function, not just teeth but also facial regions. They are specially trained in assessing the needs of their patients before providing treatment plans. They may also perform dental implants, cosmetic procedures, and root canal treatments.