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What Is the Difference Between a Prosthodontist and a Dentist?

Oral surgeon smiling while explaining the difference between prosthodontist vs dentist to a patient

Regarding dental care, various types of professionals provide their services. Two of the most common are dentists and prosthodontists. If you want to restore your smile, you might wonder: what is the difference between a prosthodontist and a dentist? In this article, we will break down the key differences between the two professions, so you can decide which is the right fit for your dental needs. 

Local Start Dental Provides prosthodontist services to Durham, NC. Call 919.569.5533 today to learn more about how we can enhance the appearance and function of your smile.

Prosthodontist vs. Dentist: What’s the Difference? 

First, let’s define the two professions. A dentist is a healthcare professional who specializes in oral health, including teeth, gums, and jawbone. They provide various services, including:

  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Extractions

On the other hand, a prosthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of oral function. These professionals can also enhance comfort, appearance, and health for patients with missing teeth and oral and maxillofacial tissues. This includes restoring natural teeth and replacing missing teeth with

  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Bridges

One of the main differences between a prosthodontist and a dentist is their level of training and education. Both professions require a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. Prosthodontists undergo an additional three-year specialty training program focusing specifically on prosthodontics. During this training, they learn advanced skills such as surgical placement and restoration of dental implants. They also receive instruction on complex restorative procedures, such as full mouth rehabilitation with a combination of crowns, bridges, and dentures, and many more intensive procedures. 

Another difference between the two professions is the types of procedures that they perform. While dentists are skilled in preventative and general dentistry, such as dental cleanings, fillings, and extractions, prosthodontists specialize in complex procedures, including full mouth reconstructions. They can treat various dental issues, including complex bite problems, jaw alignment, and facial pain.  

In short, while dentists and prosthodontists are skilled professionals who provide excellent dental care, prosthodontists undergo more extensive training and focus on more complex treatments designed to restore oral function, comfort, appearance, and health. 

Dentist vs. Prosthodontist: Which One Do You Need?   

Whether you should seek a dentist or a prosthodontist depends on your dental needs. A general dentist may be the right choice for preventative care. This care may include teeth cleanings, fillings, and simple extractions. 

But if you have complex dental issues such as missing or damaged teeth that require complex restorations, or you need dental implants, bone grafting, or full-mouth reconstruction, you might want to consider seeing a prosthodontist. Additionally, if you have jaw issues that cause discomfort or pain, you may need to see a prosthodontist specializing in treating those problems. 

Find Prosthodontist Services at Local Start Dental

At Local Start Dental, we offer the services of experienced and highly-trained prosthodontists specializing in restoring smiles. If you’re unsure whether you need a general dentist or a prosthodontist, we’d be happy to help you determine the best course of action to get the healthy smile you want. 

Our highly trained and experienced prosthodontists can provide prosthodontics that meet your needs. The expert team in our surgical suite can help you restore your smile and regain your confidence. Our team provides personalized treatment plans to address each patient’s unique goals and offers advanced technology for optimal patient comfort and results.

If you are looking for the best prosthodontist in Durham, NC, look no further than Local Start Dental. We offer a wide range of prosthodontic services, including dental implants, dentures, partial dentures, and porcelain veneers. Contact us today at 919.569.5533 or online for a consultation and get started on a beautiful and healthy smile.