What is a Prosthodontist?
A Prosthodontist is a dental specialist that handles complex dental cases. Dental specialists, like prosthodontists, typically encounter patients through referrals from general dentists. When your treatment needs are too complex or require advanced training and techniques, your dentist might refer you to a specific dental specialist. So what do prosthodontists specifically focus on?
A prosthodontist treats people who have extensive problems with their teeth and/or are missing many teeth. This usually includes using dental implants and crowns. It can also mean replacing all of the teeth on the top or bottom with implants and full sets of teeth that are fixed in place (not removable by the patient).
-Dr. Pickle is a widely recognized Prosthodontics specialist in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He works with many of the best dentists in Colorado Springs and across southern Colorado to coordinate treatment plans and guide patient outcomes. He and his exceptional team of professionals are dedicated to the highest quality of oral health and the restoration of smiles.
This blog will give you some good basic dental information, and a good idea of what Dr. Pickle does and how he can help you!
Requirements to be a Prosthodontist
There are now 11 dental specialties recognized by the ADA (American Dental Association). But Prosthodontics is the area that covers most of them due to the fact that we coordinate the entire plan and course of treatment. As a maxillofacial surgical prosthodontist I am able to both plan and provide much of the care you may need, but also work with other providers to get you the full scope of required care.
And there are many factors that go into the special care provided by prosthodontics such as…
- Specialty Board Certified Maxillofacial Prosthodontist
- Residency and Fellowship Trained
- Extensive experience with most brands of dental implants
- In-house onsite dental laboratory and highly trained technicians
- IV sedation as needed by CRNA
- Friendly and experienced staff in a comfortable environment
Symptoms treated by a Prosthodontist
- Discomfort and pain from loose teeth or gum disease
- Extensive tooth decay
- Cosmetic and esthetic problems with tooth appearance
- Problems from accidents or trauma
- Dental oncology or developmental problems
- Bad bite issues
- Missing teeth
All of these situations and more can cause a person to quit smiling, making it difficult to eat or chew. It can cause chronic mouth discomfort or pain as well as bad breath, among other things.
But prosthodontists can help…
A few teeth…
Sometimes, a person will have several bad teeth that can’t be reasonably fixed, or even several missing teeth and the most cost effective and longest lasting solution is dental implants and crowns. A dental implant is the titanium screw that replaces the root of a tooth (in the bone). The crown is the top part that you can see, as shown in picture. The bone grows to the implant but heals slowly. So a temporary crown will be made and it may take 3-6 months before the final crown is made. The crown is always custom made to fit the look and bite of your surrounding teeth.
All of your teeth…
Today there is a very effective process for making a full jaw set of teeth when someone is going to lose them all, or already has dentures. We call this the “iTeeth” procedure. It is the process of removing all of the teeth in one jaw (or arch), placing 4 to 6 dental implants and then fitting a full set of jaw temporary teeth in one appointment.
The temporary teeth are not removable (by the patient) and there is still a 5-6 month healing phase. You never have a removable temporary denture and can chew right away with a soft diet. After the healing phase we spend about 2 months making the long-term set of teeth. They are made out of more durable materials and we can spend as much time as we need to work on the look and bite position of the teeth.
Prosthodontists also deal with replacing old crowns or implant crowns, traditional dentures and partial dentures, sleep apnea oral appliances and other special prosthodontic care issues.
Care and Technology
Healthcare is constantly innovating and dentistry is no different. As a result, you will first notice that we utilize a full 3D CT scan on all new patients to both establish a base line of information and provide a platform for developing a diagnosis and treatment plan that best suits your unique situation.
The digital world is constantly improving and expanding into all aspects of our care, including x-rays, impression scans, diagnosis, planning and lab fabrications. As improved aspects of 3D scanning, printing and milling become available and predictable. We incorporate it into our existing work flow to improve your care.
In conclusion, there are many predictable therapy options today for even the most complex situations. As an artist and perfectionist, and having grown up in a family of architects, Dr. Pickle loves to use his God-given abilities and acquired knowledge and training to help other people. We can work with you to come up with a solution to achieve your goals. Dr. Pickle and his team love to see the transformation in each life and smile as you resume your comfort, food and FUNction!