PROSTHODONTICS is a field of Dentistry specializing in the cosmetic and functional restoration of missing and deficient teeth. By using advanced techniques to replace teeth and repair deficient dental structures, Prosthodontists improve oral function and the aesthetic appearance of the teeth and midface. Some of the more common Prosthodontic procedures include dental implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures. Although General Dentists may treat some of these conditions, Prosthodontists are specialized in this area. To become a Prosthodontist, one must first complete four years of training at an accredited dental school in order to secure a DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. The degrees are identical and allow the dentist to begin residency training in Prosthodontics. Most Prosthodontics programs last 2 to 3 years and culminate in a subspecialty certificate in Prosthodontics. Qualified specialists may then become eligible for certification by the American Board of Prosthodontics. Prosthodontists perform both noninvasive and surgical procedures, typically working in private offices or as part of larger dental groups.
Negligence claims in the field of Prosthodontics typically stem from treatment complications, procedural injuries, hardware failure, or patient dissatisfaction with their appearance. Prosthodontists may also be called as expert witnesses to explore issues of causation when General Dentists undertake prosthodontic procedures that either should have been referred to a specialist or resulted in a poor outcome.