Sometimes it can be confusing to understand the differences between a prosthodontist and other dental professionals. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard of prosthodontics at all. But, increasingly, patients who need dental implants are turning to prosthodontists for their dental restoration.
When You Should Choose A Prosthodontist For Dental Implants & Other Dental Restoration
So, why is it important to choose a prosthodontist when you need dental implants or other dental restoration like crowns or full mouth restoration? Dr. Kevin Kopp of Kopp Dental and Associates in Elmhurst, Illinois offers a Q & A to clear up the confusion.
Q & A: Prosthodontist Or Dentist For Dental Implants & Other Dental Restoration?
Q 1: Aren’t all dental professions pretty much the same?
A 1: They’re all honorable professions. But let’s take general dentistry as an example. Those who want to go into general dentistry study for 4 years for their degree, then begin their practice. A prosthodontist is a specialist who continues training with a specific focus on dental restoration like dental implants and other restorations. The training must be for another 3 years and the training must gain the recognition of the American Dental Association (ADA).
Q 2: But doesn’t a dentist also have a license to work with a crown, an implant, veneers or dentures?
A 2: Certainly. But a general dentistry degree requires 4 years of study and training. Many dental procedures require more attention and specific skills that are acquired by the prosthodontist in his additional 2 to 4 years of training. While still in dental school, the majority of students don’t finish even one assignment regarding dental implants or other types of detailed dental restorations. Bottom line: the majority of students who study only general dentistry usually haven’t completed an implant case before they begin their dental practice in earnest.
A prosthodontist, however, has finished numerous complex restoration procedures such as dental implants prior to receiving certification. Prosthodontists focus particularly on such intricate procedures for at least 2, and often as much as 4 more years past their time at dental school.
Q 3: Dental tech is really advanced nowadays. So a dentist’s personal expertise isn’t as important as it once was, right? Since they all pretty much use the same kind of high tech tools, all I really need to do is shop around for the best price instead of the best dentist, don’t I?
A 3: No, I don’t recommend choosing a dental professional based solely on the lowest fees at all. Exceptional dexterity and hand coordination remain as crucial today as it has ever been in the dental professions. Dental implants and other dental restoration require exceptional skill. This ability is all too often disregarded at the patient’s peril. Yet it remains the backbone of superior dentistry. Dental implants, beginning with the extraction and placement procedures, are surgical methods that require several years of training and practice.
No matter how high tech the prosthodontist’s equipment, no matter if the dental restoration is a single crown or full mouth dental reconstruction, the profession remains partially science and partially artisanship.
Q 4: Well, speed matters, doesn’t it? A really experienced dentist will have done so many dental implants, crowns, dentures and restorations that he or she can get the job done faster than one who isn’t as confident or good at procedures.
A 4: Speed is absolutely not a hallmark of superiority when it comes to dental implants and other dental restoration. A prosthodontist will work toward excellence, not moving patients in and out of the chair like an assembly line. Getting the precise tolerances, matching the color of a crown to the patient’s natural teeth, assuring proper shapes, balances and the exact translucencey are the reasons that, when you smile, no one will ever know you’ve had restoration done…unless you choose to tell them!
Q 5: All this must mean that prosthodontists are out of reach for the average working person, right? It sounds like this kind of quality work is something only high-income power brokers or celebrities can afford
A 5: Not at all. The time-honored American standards of competition and market checks and balances makes the majority of prosthodontists’ fees just a little higher than those of general dentistry. And when you look in the mirror and see the exceptional quality of work on your dental implants or other dental restoration you’ve had done or when you don’t have to make return trips to have a crown that wasn’t quite fitted properly worked on yet again, you’ll understand why the vast majority of people who put their trust, oral health and hard-earned money in the care of a prosthodontist feel they actually got a bargain in both quality and investment in their oral health.
Q 6: But dental implants, for example, are still pretty much out of the price range of the average wage earner, aren’t they?
A 6: Quality material and the intricate nature of fitting dental implants do make prices higher than, say, conventional dentures. But dental implants and other types of dental restoration are also far superior to the old, standard denture in quality, comfort, natural appearance, fit and longevity.
That being said, prosthodontists have chosen this career because they care, above all else, about the well-being of people. They are deeply aware of the financial realities of their patients, and work to help create dental solutions that fit their needs. If you’re working on a limited budget, be sure to ask your prosthodontist about financing plans. The majority of prosthodontists have these in place and are happy to help.
Kopp Dental & Associates Are Committed To Quality & Affordability
Dr. Kevin Kopp, his associates and their staff are dedicated to helping you know that your faith in Kopp Dental is well placed. From each dental specialist to every member of our office team, you are working with the most qualified, experienced and caring dental professionals in the greater Chicago area.
Located in Elmhurst, Doctors Kopp, Guzaitis, Ahn, Marinis, and Elia are skilled and compassionate professionals, serving you with extended weekday hours and some weekend hours. We always provide extraordinary care, with strong expertise in a wide array of dental procedures, including dental implants, cosmetic dental bonding and more.