Prosthodontist Vs. Dentist: What’s The Difference?

Well, here we are—the home stretch towards the end of 2020 and you’re not reading about NYE plans, you’re reading about prosthodontist options. The good news is, the world didn’t end, We avoided a zombie apocalypse, and it’s almost W-2 time. Ah, but don’t expect that refund too soon. We aren’t psychics, merely smile artists—but we have a feeling refunds are going to be slower than ever.

Now, if you’re a glass half full person, you’ll take this time to consider how to get the most out of your return:

  • Vegas Vacation— Sure, airfare is cheap right now and so are the hotels but why do you want to give Vegas all your money? If you’re feeling lucky—remember the movie Casino. “The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all.” 
  • Mardi Gras Getaway— Watch the news lately? Canceled.
  • NYC Weekend—That’s a negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.

No, what you could be doing is investing in something that will pay back in dividends every day—your smile.

Maybe you, like many other adults, have some dental work you’ve been avoiding due to fear, finances, or both. Did you know that a smile can make all the difference in the world in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and employability? In fact, people with a healthy smile generally feel better about themselves and accomplish more.

Think about it; when you feel bad about yourself do you feel like getting out? Do you want to go and try new things or take risks? Probably not, but when you feel confident—you’re unshakeable, and you feel like you can accomplish anything. Having a healthy level of confidence is incredibly empowering and a smile can get you to that level and a good prosthodontist can help.

A Prosthodontist Can Boost Your Smile And Your Confidence

Sometimes, giving your smile a boost can require a bit more than just a simple tooth whitening or other minor cosmetic dentistry procedures. Missing teeth, denture fitment issues, TMJ issues, and other complex situations can impair your smile and need specialized treatment.

In cases like these, you need a prosthodontist—a dental specialty that focuses on restorative procedures. They restore not just the form and function of your smile, but also the visual appearance. A dentist on the other hand primarily focuses on routine maintenance and general procedures such as fillings, and deep cleanings.

While dentists are very necessary for good oral health, they are not typically as experienced in cosmetic and restoration techniques. They delegate this off to a prosthodontist, either in-house, or to a trusted referral.

What Services Does A Prosthodontist Provide?

Prosthodontists can do everything a dentist can do and then some. They are a specialist within the dental field that handle complex dental issues. Typically, they are pragmatic artists of dentistry and focus on the function and the appearance of your smile. Some of the services they offer include:

Tooth Replacement

If you’ve ever left a missing tooth untreated and suffered through some of the unfortunate consequences, you know why a replacement is essential. Your facial structure can change, leaving you unrecognizable to friends. You lose your jawbone which leads to bite issues, tooth shifting, malnutrition, and all that leads to depression. A prosthodontist can use dental implants to prevent these consequences. Dental implants replace the tooth root and keep the jawbone strong by providing the stimulation the bone needs.

Dental Bridges

When you lose more than one tooth and cannot afford or are not a good candidate for implants—you do have options. While, not as ideal as dental implants, they still offer some restored functionality and appearance. One of those options that a prosthodontist handles are dental bridges. A dental bridge is like a denture but is used to fill in for one or consecutive teeth.

It uses the teeth on either side of the missing teeth to anchor for support. The downside is that those neighboring teeth are often damaged over time from the anchors. So, ideally, you want to get implants if you can, but a bridge is a distant second-best option.

Dentures, similar to bridges are used to replace a full arch of teeth, either lowers or uppers. Dentures can return some functionality and appearance but are cumbersome. They require frequent cleaning and adhesive application. Also, they can fall out when speaking or eating, causing embarrassment in social settings. You can still eat and speak with dentures however, keep in mind, there is quite an adjustment period involved with dentures and bridges. Dental implants are really the best option.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

If you have a complete failure of an entire arch or both arches of teeth, full-mouth reconstruction is the best treatment. Full mouth reconstruction replaces all of the teeth in your mouth with modular-style dental dentures mounted on implants. Often referred to as All on Four, this treatment makes a new smile available in a single day. Furthermore, it re-creates your smile in a perfect, natural-looking fashion so that it’s indistinguishable from natural teeth.

TMJ Therapy

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, often abbreviated as TMJ, is very painful and can be chronic without treatment. It is a condition where the connected nerves in your mandible become very inflamed and irritated. A prosthodontist is the person you want to see, as they can rectify the condition with different therapies and dental devices.

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Prosthodontist

No matter what you are seeing a prosthodontist for, it’s important to choose based on qualifications and not price. Lower prices typically mean one of two things—there’s hidden costs or a lack of skill that warrants higher prices. Seeing a prosthodontist that is unqualified can have far worse implications than the initial problem itself. There are several key factors you need to consider to make sure you get the best possible provider:

  • Check Certifications– This is the most important factor—it’s non-negotiable. If the provider you are considering is not certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics, scratch them off your list. Any provider that is duly qualified will have this certification and it will be current and displayed.
  • Professional Association Membership – If a provider is up to date with the latest treatments and methods they will belong to certain associations. For example, a good dentist will be a proud member of the American Dental Association among others. For prosthodontists, one of the main associations is the American Prosthodontic Society. These organizations are vital for providers to keep up with their industry, craft, and emerging technologies.
  • What Do Their Clients Say? – Word of mouth will paint a more authentic picture of a provider than their marketing will. Check places such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook to see what their clients say. Every business gets a bad review here and there. However, if you see a pattern of complaints, especially ones similar in nature—that’s a red flag.
  • Are All Fees Disclosed? – Of course, your budget is a major factor in choosing a provider but make sure their prices tell the whole story. Many unscrupulous providers will quote you a great price but after they disclose additional fees—not such a great deal.


The Best Prosthodontist In San Antonio Is At Stone Ridge Dental

If you want to make sure you’re getting the best dental implants, dentures, bridges, or other prosthodontic treatment—call us. At Stone Ridge Dental, Dr. Monarres has performed thousands of All on Four procedures in addition to other procedures.

As one of the most experienced and qualified prosthodontists in Texas, Dr. Monarres can restore your smile and self-confidence with a natural touch. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.



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