Should I Use a Dental Prosthetist or a Prosthodontist?

Are you familiar with the job titles prosthetist and prosthodontist? You soon will if you’re in need of treatment to fix damaged or missing teeth. Find out the difference between a prosthetist and prosthodontist so you know who to visit for assessment and treatment. 

What is a Dental Prosthetist? 

Most people have heard of prosthetic limbs, but few people consider replacement teeth as prosthetics. A dental prosthetist owns or works in a denture clinic to assess, design, construct, fit and adjust removable dentures. They also supply mouthguard to protect teeth from sporting injuries and to treat sleep-related problems. Patients don’t need a referral from a dentist. A prosthetist may refer patients to other dental specialists for treatment before they can fit the recommended appliances. 

Dental prosthetists train as a dental technician first then undertake additional training that can vary from an Advanced Diploma from TAFE to a graduate degree from university to qualify as a dental prosthetist. 

A prosthodontist specialises in the restoration and maintenance of oral health, the function and aesthetics of teeth. Prosthodontists are trained to solve complex oral and maxillofacial tissue problems including trauma, congenital issues and cosmetic issues. Damaged teeth are repaired and missing or extracted teeth can be replaced with artificial appliances that are either fixed or removable. 

What is a Prosthodontist

A prosthodontist is a specialist dentist who has completed their general dental training at a university for a minimum of five years then practiced general dentistry for at least two years before undertaking an additional three-year full-time university course. After successfully completing the second university course, a prosthodontist is eligible for specialist registration with the Dental Board of Australia (DBA). 

Prosthetist or Prosthodontist – Which One?

If you’re looking for a second opinion on a treatment plan you may have received from your dentist or another specialist, you’ll need to see a prosthodontist. They can assess your problem tooth/teeth as part of a whole mouth analysis to give you their opinion on your options and their recommendations. You can enjoy the peace of mind knowing a prosthodontist has the additional training and experience needed to ensure you enjoy an ideal long-term outcome. 

A prosthetist can assist with preparing a removable appliance but isn’t experienced in assessment and 

recommendations for all options in restoration and replacement. In most instances you won’t need to see a prosthetist after a prosthodontist because your prosthodontist will brief the laboratory on your appliance requirements. 

Both prosthetists and prosthodontists keep up to date with the latest in advanced techniques, new materials and world trends in removable appliances such as full dentures, partial dentures and mouthguards. Prosthodontists are also qualified to provide patients with fixed appliances such as implants, crowns and undertake root canal treatment. The additional training of a prosthodontist allows them to not only consider a patient’s dental health but the health of their whole body as research shows the two are closely linked. 

If you would like to discuss your options for a smile makeover, dentures or implants, organise an appointment to see one of our experienced prosthodontists by calling (08) 9321 1632 or contact us online. We can advise you on the best treatment to address your concerns.