How Is A Prosthodontist Different From A General Dentist?

A: A prosthodontist is a dentist that must undergo additional training. Usually, it’s about 3-4 years of additional training, specifically in the restoration and replacement of teeth.

Nowadays, dental implants in San Antonio are one of the main ways of replacing teeth. So, we’re very focused in the replacement of teeth with dental implants.

So, a prosthodontist is the person that specializes in the hardest cases that are out there. We focus on those people that need to restore their dental health and function with a full set of teeth.

We work with a lot of other specialists in addition to general dentists and coordinate our efforts to give patients the treatment they need.

When you think about the dental field it is much like the medical field. In the medical field, all specialists are doctors, but not all doctors are specialists. In dentistry, it works the same way—all specialists are dentists, but not all dentists are specialists.

That’s the case when it comes down to comparing a dentist with a prosthodontist. While they work in the same field, their scope of work is different.

What Does A General Dentist Do?

General dentistry has changed quite a bit throughout the history of the practice. In the 1800s for example the local dentist often held other jobs too— barber, town doctor, judge, even coroner! Now that would scare anyone away from going to the dentist, we’ll give you that.

Thankfully dentistry is well regulated and licensed in these modern times and a dentist must go through extensive schooling.  Even after they receive their degree, dentists spend a few years in a practice “paying their dues,” and honing their craft.

Another change is that general dentists no longer cover all aspects of the teeth and gums. However, that’s not to say that they couldn’t, it’s just not their specialization. General dentists exist to provide minor dental procedures that are typically preventative in nature.

General Dentistry Services

The general dentist is the dentist you will see the most often, think of them as your general practitioner for dental issues. They assist with the general care of the teeth and gums and look out for any developing issues. If there’s anything more involved than that, or you want dental implants in San Antonio, they refer you to a specialist.

Dentists offer a basic schedule of services that typically include:

  • X-rays to check for issues below the gum line
  • Evaluate your teeth and gums for signs of decay or gingivitis
  • Perform minor preventative procedures such as cleanings and debridement or fluoride treatments

If a dentist determines a patient has a cavity, they are qualified to remedy that situation in several ways. They can install a filling, perform a root canal, or extract the tooth. However, a general dentist, if they remove a tooth, cannot install dental implants in San Antonio—that requires a prosthodontist.

Prosthodontists— More Than Dental Implants In San Antonio

Sometimes, the dental issues a patient might have, require a bit more focused specialization than a dentist offers. Issues such as replacing missing teeth, full mouth reconstruction, TMJ cases, and cosmetic services require a prosthodontist.

As Dr. Monarres mentioned, a prosthodontist is a dentist that has gone through additional training beyond the basics. They specialize in primarily restorative services—restoring either form, function, or aesthetics of your smile.

Their services are often the result of a referral from a general dentist or from a patient seeking something to correct their smile. Issues such as extreme malocclusions, failing teeth, denture fitment issues, and more.

What Procedures Does A Prosthodontist Provide?

Prosthodontists can perform the same procedures a dentist can and go beyond basics at the same time. Much like the medical arena, they are specialists in their field that handle more complex dental situations. They are considered a bit more artistic as well as they also focus on the appearance of teeth in addition to function and form. Prosthodontists cover many services including:

Tooth Replacement

Losing a tooth, be it from decay or dental trauma, can have serious consequences if it’s not replaced. The tooth root is critical to signal the jawbone to keep producing bone mass. Without that signal, the jawbone deteriorates. This can cause a domino effect of problems and leave your facial features looking radically different. It also causes bite issues, shifting of remaining teeth, malnutrition and it can leave you emotionally scarred.

Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth that will never decay and fortify the jawbone. This prevents all of the problems we just covered as well as retaining your self-confidence. Dental implants in San Antonio are widely available but should only be performed by a qualified prosthodontist like Dr. Monarres.

Dental Bridges & Dentures

Sometimes you lose multiple teeth at once but not an entire arch. This can be due to an accident or other dental issues. If you cannot afford dental implants in San Antonio or they are physically impossible for you— a bridge is better than nothing. A bridge will at least restore the appearance of your smile and offer some limited functionality. A bridge relies on the healthy teeth on either side of the gap left by the teeth that are missing.

The problem with a bridge is that it is rough on the teeth supporting it, the anchors often wear them down causing damage.

Dentures are similar to bridges except they are for when an entire arch is missing. They are not permanent, they are affixed with an adhesive to the gum bed. This can be problematic as they can slip or fall out at times, often at the worst moment.

This is why it’s crucial to replace your tooth as soon as possible so that you can get dental implants. If finances are a problem, we offer several reasonable financing options so that you can afford the implants.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

Sometimes genetics aren’t kind and our teeth can grow in extremely crooked or twisted and it’s beyond what braces can repair. Also, you can just have genetically bad teeth and they all fail. In cases such as these, a prosthodontist can literally create an entirely new smile for you.

The procedure is referred to as full mouth reconstruction and is a complex and precise procedure that recreates your smile without defects. It is half artistry, half oral surgery so a prosthodontist is an absolute necessity.

The most popular form of this procedure is called All on Four and is something Dr. Monarres is an expert in—having done over 2,000 such procedures. It truly changes people’s lives when they see themselves with a perfect, bright smile after years of struggling with extreme dental issues.

A general dentist doesn’t possess the years of extra training and education in this art form of restorative dentistry.

Your Best Choice For Dental Implants In San Antonio

When choosing to go with dental implants in San Antonio, it’s not a decision you make lightly. Nor should your decision on which prosthodontist you use for the procedure either.

If you want the absolute best results from dental implants, Dr. Monarres is the one you want to entrust your smile to. With well over 2,000 successful procedures under his belt, he is the foremost authority of dental implants.

Contact us today and let Dr. Monarres share his passion for changing lives through smile restoration. The consultation is free and will open your eyes to possibilities you never thought existed.

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