Many patients are missing certain teeth because the teeth never developed or may be misshapen. A prosthodontist can determine the best way to replace and/or restore these teeth. Other patients exhibit teeth with poorly developed tooth structure throughout the mouth and require a prosthodontist’s expertise in restoring these teeth to proper form and function.
Digital Dentistry: Prosthodontists Use It to Save Patients Time and Money
As a Prosthodontist, I get patient questions all the time asking about digital dentistry – what is it, how can it save patients time and money, and if the quality matches up to traditional procedures of getting a new crown or cap, and can a new tooth made in under an hour match the quality and esthetics of traditional production methods that used to take weeks to do?
The answer to all those questions is – YES. Prosthodontists provide care at the specialty level, working closely with other health care providers and oral health specialists. They diagnose, plan, rehabilitate and maintain oral function, comfort, and esthetics for patients with clinical conditions associated with missing, deficient or broken teeth using dental implants, digital based technologies, crowns, bridges, partials and dentures.
The additional years of study allows us to thoroughly diagnose more complex cases and construct an appropriate treatment plan and sequence of care. Advanced technologies such as digital impressions, and CAD/CAM restorations can be used to restore teeth, with veneers or crowns, and replace missing teeth with dental implants or dentures.
You may expect improved patient caring through advancements in digital dentistry. In fact, while it may seem new to patients, Prosthodontists have been using digital dentistry technologies for more than a decade.
It’s not simply the technology that determines the quality, the fit, the materials–it’s the prosthodontist (or dentist) who applies their advanced specialty training to design and control the outcome. Many potential advantages exist when leveraging digital technology including: improved patient experiences such as shorter dental visits, less pain and discomfort, the ability for patients to see their new tooth be custom-made in less than two hours; and the ability to use stronger and more esthetically pleasing ceramic materials for crown fabrication that would otherwise not be available. This allows us more control over the final outcome. Whether the digital technology is applied through chair-side scanning, design and milling equipment, or through the utilization of digital laboratory based technologies, all trained practitioners are prepared to identify the best solution for the patient’s specific situation and needs.
Oral, head and neck, and skin cancer: the prosthodontist’s role (video)
From restoring smiles damaged by bulimia, restoring full jaws and teeth using advanced digital technology and implants, or helping head and neck cancer patients be able to eat, speak and smile long after the battle with cancer has been won.”
Oral Cancer Screening
The well-documented risk factors for oral cancer in both men and women are tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol use. An increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx has also been associated with HPV16 infections. The survival rate from this disease is approximately 57%; this has remained relatively constant over decades. Historically, the survival rate was about 50%. Therefore 57% is an improvement, but this increase is thought to be secondary to the increased incidence of HPV16-related malignancies, which seem to be more responsive to existing treatment modalities. The current available data seem to support that a change in etiology and not improved early discovery or treatments has led to this survival increase.
The warning signs of oral cancer can be summarized as follows:
- an ulceration in the mouth that does not heal (most common symptom)
- an area of leukoplakia (white in color) or erythoplakia (red in color) on the gingiva, tongue, tonsil, or oral mucosa that persists
- a lump or thickening in the cheek
- a sore throat or globus sensation (feeling that something is caught in the throat)
- difficulty chewing with or without dysphagia
- increasing trismus and or decreasing tongue mobility
- sensory changes in the tongue or other oral structures
- swelling of edentulous areas that cause dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
- increasing tooth mobility or pain associated with the teeth or jaw
- voice changes
- a lump or mass in the neck
- weight loss