Are General Dentists Specialists in Prosthodontics?

The dentistry field can be a little confusing to anyone who doesn’t work in the field. But with a little knowledge, a patient can understand the different registrations in the dentistry field and then make an informed decision about who will treat them.

How Do You Know if a Dentist is General or Specialist?

A general dentist can tell patients that they specialise in a field of dentistry. A dentist may find it rewarding to assist patients improve their crooked teeth or replace their missing teeth with a variety of tratments. It’s not a requirement for a dentist to undertake three years of additional full-time university study to become an prosthodontist to use advanced treatments. But if patients assume that their general dentist is just as qualified as a prosthododontist, they have been misled.

This can apply to all aspects of prosthodontics. A general dentist can tell a patient that they specialise in dentures or implants. But if a patient prefers to be treated by someone who has the qualifications and only does dental prosthetics, they need to see a specialist.

The public can quickly and easily find out what type of qualification a dentist has. The information is available online through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website. Checking a medical practitioner or dentist is registered and allowed to practise can give some patients peace of mind. For others, they want to check what level of qualification a practitioner has to decide who they will see for treatment.

You can read more about using the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to find a specialist dental provider.

Importance of Being Treated by a Prosthodontist

You may question why you should go to the trouble of finding a specialist prosthodontist if your usual dentist offers to do the treatment for you. There are several reasons why you should use a prosthodontist:

Whole Mouth Approach – General dentists repair teeth and ensure they stay healthy while a prosthodontist works on restoring oral health and the function of the entire mouth. When a patient needs to use the services of multiple health providers such as an oral surgeon, a prosthodontist will often co-ordinate treatment to make it easier for the patient.

Risk Involved – When you need complex and invasive dental work done such as replacing teeth, you want the treatment completed by someone who is doing this type of work all the time, not part-time around basic dentistry work. Dental work is costly and the outcome often permanent, so you’ll want to be happy with the final result. A specialist has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to ensure you have the best possible outcome.

Time Efficient – A general dentist can’t manufacture prosthetic products on-site and will send all prostheses like bridges and crowns to a lab to be made and adjusted. Some prosthodontists have a lab as part of their practice so a technician can get to work on protheses the same day a patient visits the surgery. During fittings, it’s possible for prostheses to be adjusted while a patient waits. An on-site lab reduces the time and potential embarrassment a patient may feel while they wait for their replacement teeth.

Options – A general dentist may only offer one treatment option while a prosthodontist has the skills and experience needed to offer multiple types of treatment. A prosthodontist can keep up with the ever-changing prosthetic technologies and offer innovative treatments for complex problems compared to a general dentist.

If you’re wondering what options are available to treat your dental problem, call Western Prosthodontic Centre on 9321 1632 or contact us online to make an appointment.