“Prosthodontics”, a special word for a special branch of dentistry. Skilled hands and sure eyes to help make teeth, mouths, faces right again … and make you feel good about yourself again. Talented dentists dedicated to restoring oral and facial health and beauty. A special profession filling a special health need in our modern times.
Do you ever wonder what a Prosthodontist is, or what kind of dentistry he or she practices? If so, you’re not alone. Even though millions of people have bridges or dentures, or have their teeth capped, they never think it’s all called “prosthodontics”. And that’s not surprising because it’s the kind of service we all expect from dentistry. The difference is however that some dentists specialize in this treatment, and that’s what this is all about. We hope that our answers to these most commonly asked questions will help you understand better what prosthodontics can do for you.

What is prosthodontics?

It’s a special branch of dentistry that concentrates all its skills and science on helping make your mouth, teeth, and face work right, feel right, look right, and stay right.

How does prosthodontics do this?

By restoring your natural teeth and replacing missing teeth or tissue (in and around the mouth and face) with artificial, lifelike substitutes.

How is this done?

Three basic ways:

  1. By non-removable replacements such as crowns or bridges
  2. By removable replacements such as dentures.
  3. By restoring mouth, facial, or ear structures that were made defective by disease, injury, surgery, or by birth defects such as cleft palates.

How does a dentist become a Prosthodontist?

After completing dental school, a dentist such as Dr. Hong must take at least two to three more years of advanced study and clinical training in a prosthodontic program fully approved by the American Dental Association. Only after successful completion of such programs can dentists be recognized as a “Prosthodontist”.
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Do some Prosthodontists receive special certification?

Yes. The American Board of Prosthodontics certifies qualified Prosthodontists who meet its standards and pass its examinations. These Prosthodontists are then certified as “Diplomats” of the American Board of Prosthodontics. Dr. Sung Hong is a Diplomat of the American Board of Prosthodontics.

What’s so different about a Prosthodontist compared to a “regular” dentist?

All dentists have the same basic goal: to help you take care of your teeth, mouth, and other aspects of your oral health. So most general dentists do a lot of prosthodontic service: they cap teeth, make bridges, and do some reconstructive work. Prosthodontist concentrates on one area of dentistry, he or she can usually handle more complex problems more easily or more efficiently than the general dentist. It’s the same with other specialty areas of dentistry. Oral surgeons, orthodontists, endodontists, periodontists, and Prosthodontists … all make up the skilled specialty complex of dentistry.

Who might send you to a Prosthodontist?

  • Your family dentist – for assistance in handling special or complex restorations or reconstructions.
  • Your family physician – for help in managing birth defect problems such as cleft palates.
  • Medical and dental specialists – for prosthodontic services required in the management of difficult oral and facial problems.

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What can a Prosthodontist do for you?

Your Prosthodontist has one aim: to help you return as close to normal, healthy function and appearance as possible. Your Prosthodontist will work with you, and seek your cooperation in achieving that aim.

What are the most common prosthodontic procedures?

  • Single Crowns – creating non-removable jackets or caps of metal, porcelain or plastic, covering teeth to protect them and restore normal function and appearance.
  • Fixed bridges – creating non-removable restorations to replace missing teeth.
  • Partial dentures – creating removable replacements for partial tooth loss.
  • Complete dentures – creating full, removable replacements for total tooth loss.
  • Overdenture service – creating removable replacements utilizing the roots of some teeth or a dental implant for support.
  • Implant-supported Fixed Crown and Bridge or Removable Dentures – creating non-removable restorations and/or removable dentures supported by permanent dental implants.
  • Reconstruction and Maxillofacial Services – rebuilding the teeth, jaw, palate, or other facial structures, to correct complex problems including TMJ dysfunction, and to evaluate the need for implant dentistry. This may require the services of several doctors.