Two front teeth-3When it comes to oral health, particularly where restorative treatment is needed, you need to ensure you’re getting treated by a specialist who can provide you with a professional, long-term dental solution. Traditionally, you would visit a general dentist as a first port-of-call for any dental procedure, but many of the traditional dental procedures are outdated, with prosthodontists offering a more holistic approach. Here’s a look at why this is. 

What is the difference between a dentist and a prosthodontist?

Routine dental care and basic dental procedures such as fillings, repairs, cleanings and root canals are performed by general dentists. While some might have additional training in certain procedures, there is generally no specialisation so procedures are fairly limited. However, if you need more highly-focused dental procedures, such as tooth replacement or restoration, then you’ll need the work done by a prosthodontist. They will have to undergo additional years of training and are experts at diagnosing and handling complex cases. 

Why are traditional dental procedures outdated?

The traditional approach to dental care was focusing on individual problems rather than taking a more comprehensive approach to dental care. An example would be a patient coming in with missing teeth would be treated with dental implants or bridges, without performing a thorough analysis of their dental health and compiling a comprehensive treatment plan. When a patient arrived with a cavity, traditional dentistry simply required treatment of the cavity, whether it was a filling or a crown, rather than consulting with the patient on the potential underlying causes for such decay. 

Modern prosthodontist treatments will involve considering factors such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, and even underlying health issues that could be contributing to the decay. A way forward will then be discussed and outlined for better holistic patient care. 

What are the benefits of seeing a prosthodontist?

There’s a reason that prosthodontists are referred to as ‘oral architects’ – they’re the experts in reconstructing teeth and gums. Here’s a look at the benefits of this specialised dental care. 

2. Comprehensive care

As mentioned, outdated dental procedures would overlook the key causes behind dental concerns, but this is not the case with modern prosthodontic care. They will consider all the underlying factors contributing negatively towards your dental health and develop a customised treatment plan that addresses the most pressing needs, as well as mitigating future complications. 

3. Diagnostic skills

Prosthodontists have to go through years of advanced training in the restoration and replacement of teeth, which makes them adept at diagnosing complex dental issues. There’s no need for patients to endure several treatments and referrals, a prosthodontist can diagnose and treat patients quickly.

4. Specialised equipment

With advanced dental skills, prosthodontists also rely on the latest oral health techniques as well as the most state-of-the-art technology to ensure that every patient is receiving the best treatment available. 

5. Restorative dentistry

If a patient is suffering from damaged or missing teeth, whether from an injury or long-term health issues, a prosthodontist has all the necessary skills and technology to treat them holistically. From implants to bridges, patients will enjoy a complete dental plan that restores their smile and improves underlying oral health. 

6. Cosmetic dentistry

Beyond the underlying dental health issues, prosthodontists are also able to improve the overall aesthetics, improving the appearance of your teeth and smile, and boosting self-esteem. This can be achieved through treatments such as veneers, teeth whitening, and gum contouring. 

7. Long-term solutions

When you’re getting treatment from a prosthodontist, you’re not just being treated for a single symptom, your overall oral health is considered. Following a thorough consultation, your prosthodontist will put together a long-term treatment plan that restores your dental health and seeks to prevent future problems. 

8. Improved quality of life

It’s not just about fixing a problem, the work done by prosthodontists actually improves your overall quality of life. Restorative dental work will improve your ability to eat and speak, while cosmetic work will enhance your smile, all of which drastically enhance your quality of life. 

9. Return to normal function

When it comes to restorative dental work, you don’t necessarily want to end up with a completely new look, but rather your own look. A prosthodontist has the required knowledge and skill to make your teeth look perfectly natural, allowing them to resume normal function. 

What procedures does a prosthodontist perform?

Prosthodontists can form regular oral cleaning, basic fixes, and other general dental care, but their holistic care includes more specialised procedures as well. Their job is to design, manufacture and fit any type of restorative prosthetics for patients with damaged or missing teeth. Here’s a look at some of the specific treatments they offer. 

1. Dental crowns

You might have heard of a dental crown referred to as a ‘cap’, but essentially this is a form of dental restoration whereby a badly damaged tooth is covered. This could have been caused by a cracked tooth, extensive decay, or if you’ve recently had a root canal. 

2. Inlays and onlays

You might have a damaged tooth but have been advised you need more than a filling, although a crown might be too excessive. In this case, your prosthodontist might create an inlay or onlay that is customised to fit your tooth structure. 

3. Dental bridges

If you have missing teeth, then a prosthodontist can design what’s known as a dental bridge. This is a type of prosthetic that has two crowns on either side, with artificial teeth in between. The natural teeth are anchored with the crowns and the artificial teeth (pontics) fill in the gaps. 

4. Dentures

You may have heard reference to dentures among the elderly, but these can be used to restore the smile of anyone with missing teeth. Partial dentures are used to replace sporadically missing teeth while full dentures are created for a row of missing teeth. Dentures can be fixed or removed, depending on needs. 

5. Dental implants

Using surgical-grade titanium or ceramic, a prosthodontist can make dental implants which replace missing teeth roots, inserted into your jaw bone. These are then restored with crowns, bridges, or dentures. 

6. Veneers

If you have damaged tooth enamel, a prosthodontist can design veneers using a thin piece of porcelain layer. This strengthens your teeth and leaves you with a great smile. 

7. Jaw treatment

You might need treatment beyond your teeth, and a prosthodontist can assist. They treat jaw bones and tissues resulting from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders which can create significant pain. 

8. Dental surgery

Birth defects, cancer or traumatic injuries might precipitate the need for dental or maxillofacial surgery, which can be performed by a prosthodontist. 

9. Full mouth reconstruction

There are many incidents where patients need full reconstruction to improve their dental appearance. Prosthodontists can map out a treatment plan and perform the necessary surgery. 

When do you need a prosthodontist?

It’s vital that you have regular dental checks, but beyond the general dentistry treatments, you will need to visit a prosthodontist when:

  • You have a missing tooth that needs replacement. 
  • You need to restore the root of missing or damaged teeth. 
  • You have damaged teeth that you would like to be replaced. 
  • You need to fix or maintain your dental prosthetics such as dentures. 
  • You are suffering jaw pain as a result of TMJ disorders. 
  • You have snoring or other sleep disorders that need to be addressed. 
  • You want to renew or restore your smile for aesthetics or functionality. 
  • You have undergone cancer treatments, or traumatic injuries, or are suffering from a birth defect that precipitates the need for complex dental procedures. 


At Manningham Dental Specialists (MDS), you will obtain professional care in the field of prosthodontics as well as other high-quality dental specialities. Get in touch if you have any complex dental requirements that need urgent attention.