What is prosthodontics?

The word “prosthodontics” is derived from the Greek term “prostho” meaning to replace and “dontist” which means “tooth” – a prosthodontist thus, deals with the restoration and replacement of teeth. If you have every lost a tooth or needed a crown you may have visited a prosthodontist. To delve a notch deeper, prosthodontics can also be viewed as a branch of dentistry that deals with restoring and maintaining oral function.

Prosthodontics is a broad terms which can actually be subdivided into the following areas:

  • Fixed Prosthodontics
  • Removable Prosthodontics
  • Maxillofacial Prosthodontics
  • Implant Prosthodontics

The procedures carried out by a prosthodontist are varied but include crowns/ removable crowns (also referred to as “caps” which cover part of the tooth or all of it), bridges (used to fill in gaps between the teeth), veneers, dentures, dental implants (used to substitute the root of a tooth) and more.  Prosthodontic treatment can also help relieving problems such as cleft palate (which falls under Maxillofacial Prosthodontics), snoring disorders, and sleep apnoea.

Isn’t this the same as cosmetic density?

There is some overlap between cosmetic dentistry and prosthodontics as technically prosthodontics, just like cosmetic dentistry, can give the patient better looking teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is not a specialisation per se – it just refers to techniques in dentistry that are aimed at enhancing the aesthetics of the mouth and teeth. It includes procedures like whitening or tooth reshaping (e.g. removing/shaving uneven or sharp teeth). Prosthodontics is more complex, in that once an adult tooth is lost, the alveolar bone within which a tooth is placed, begins to shrink and resorb – a process which cannot usually be reversed. This resorption affects the jaw, the teeth and can affect the actual face. Biting and chewing could also be affected. A prosthodontist needs to work by taking all these issues into account making their job different to that of a cosmetic dentist. Although prosthodontics can be a specialisation, many dentists are able to provide prosthodontic treatment without any specialist training.

Are you interested in dental implants?

Dental implants have progressed a lot over the past decades and today implants are extremely reliable and durable. Whilst before implants were used on patients who needed all their teeth replaced today implants can replace a single tooth, more than one tooth or even an entire arch of teeth.  Dental implants result in better looking teeth, a more natural functionality and can mitigate bone loss.

Dentures are simply one alternative, but they do come with certain challenges. When dealing with cases of advanced gum disease, teeth often fall out due to decay or trauma and under such cases may even require extractions. In such cases some individuals might opt for dentures. Dentures can make good replacements for natural teeth and the soft tissue around the tooth. however, the problem is the shrinkage of the jaw bone over time. As the jaw shrinks, wearing dentures becomes more problematic for the individual.

I would like prosthodontic treatment in Malta

Camilleri Clinic is a well-established dental practice in Malta, set up in 1968 and based in Sliema/St Julian’s area. Our clinic is there to help you achieve the teeth you hope for. The clinic’s dentists will guide you, tell you the treatments available, duration and answer all your questions. Click here to make your appointment.