Prosthodontics is the dental specialty using facial and oral prostheses to treat or correct appearance, speech and swallowing problems caused by disease or injury. 
This includes dentures, dental implants, and oral and facial prostheses.

Examples of a prostheses would include artificial noses, ears, cheeks and oral inserts to improve speach and swallowing.

What Are Some Of The Problems Prosthodontists Treat?

Thanks to the significant advances in dentistry and advanced training, prosthodontists are able to offer patients referred to them a wide range of professional prosthodontic procedures. These services may include:
Complete Dentures: A total loss of teeth may present some very special problems. Some of the more frequent problems are:

- Extreme loss of the underlying bone.
- Loss of facial tissue support.
- Inability to chew food properly.
- Pain or dysfunction of the jaws or joints.
- Difficulty in adapting psychologically to artificial teeth.
- Difficulties in getting artificial teeth to fit or function comfortably.

Removable and Fixed Partial Dentures: The partial loss of teeth may be treated by fixed restorations (bridges) which are cemented to remaining teeth; or by fabrication of partial dentures that are readily removable. The decision as to which is preferred or necessary is dependent on several important factors that must be carefully examined. Several such factors are:

- Bone support of remaining teeth.
- Condition of the remaining teeth.
- The way in which the teeth function.
- The overall general health of the patient.


Implant Prosthodontics:

As a preferred alternative to the above conventional tooth replacement techniques, dental implants offer patients wonderful advantages of security, support and function. The decision as to which is preferred or possible is dependent on the same factors of concern mentioned earlier.

Cosmetic Restorations: Certain patients may desire or require special crowns (jackets or caps) on teeth to create aesthetic improvement. Restoration by this method can solve unsightly problems of chemical or drug stains, fractured teeth, crooked teeth or teeth with spaces.

Pain or Dysfunction: Problems of occlusion or function of the teeth may lead to severe joint pains or contribute to more generalized pain or functional problems. The prosthodontist's special training places emphasis on occlusion and masticatory function. The prosthodontist is frequently the key person in making accurate diagnoses or in designing treatment plans.

Congenital Deformities: The most frequent congenital dental deformity is a cleft (fissure) of the palate, lip, or toothbearing ridge. An understanding of speech, growth and development and advanced restorative dentistry is essential in rendering appropriate care.

Traumatic Injury: This may include destructive accidents that result in large defects (as in gunshot wounds or automobile accidents) or in deforming fractures or displacements. Very special knowledge of anatomical structures and restorative principles is required for adequate care.

Acquired Defects: These may be of a surgical nature, classic in this area are defects resulting from radiation, chemotherapy or surgical procedures to arrest malignant disease. Present-day diagnostic skills combined with aggressive treatment by physicians, can give promise of extended life. Attention given to the prevention as well as rehabilitation of acquired oral/facial defects by dentists skilled in creating prosthetic restorations (i.e.: obturator, speech devices, cheek, eye, ear, and nose) can likewise give promise of restored speech, function, dignity and social fulfillment.


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