The prosthodontist is an expert in restorative dentistry. Although general dentists can perform restorative dentistry, prosthodontists also perform root canals, cleanings, simple tooth extractions, bleaching, and other related cosmetic procedures, in Rocklin, California. Additional years of residency training provide prosthodontists with the opportunity to learn critical dental concepts and not just memorize techniques. Cause-and-effect-based problem solving is a fundamental part of the postgraduate training in prosthodontics. The primary goal of a prosthodontist is to control both force and inflammation. This sounds much simpler than it actually is and demands a comprehensive understanding and appreciation for the jaw joints, teeth, gingiva (gums), bone, muscles, ligaments, dental materials and, most importantly, the patient as a unique individual.

Prosthodontists restore patients using artificial substitutes for teeth and soft tissue, including crowns, bridges, dentures, partial dentures and implants. They also diagnose and treat problems related to the temporomandibular jaw joints (TMJ). Because of their additional education and training, prosthodontists routinely manage complex treatment involving multiple clinicians (i.e., periodontist, endodontist, oral surgeon and orthodontist). The multidisciplinary approach to treatment can take a great deal of time and expense, but in the end is the best way to ensure predictable, long-lasting treatment results.

Multidisciplinary care, or integrated therapy, involves a team of dentists cotreating the patient and working toward common goals of optimal comfort, function, aesthetics and health. When working in the context of an integrated team, the prosthodontist is often referred to as “the quarterback.” This role requires a comprehensive knowledge of all other specialties and is similar to the role of a general contractor in building a house. Knowing what other specialists the patient needs to see, when to see them and how their contribution to the master plan works, is the responsibility of the prosthodontist.

Dentures (false teeth) used to be the predominant restoration thought of when hearing the term prosthodontics. Today, however, this field of dentistry is much more extensive. In fact, prosthodontics is broken down further into removable prosthodontics (complete and partial dentures) and fixed prosthodontics (crowns, bridges and implants). With the increased popularity of implants, the line between fixed and removable prosthodontics has become blurred, as many dentures are now retained with implants to provide improved comfort and function.

Maxillofacial prosthetics is a subspecialty of prosthodontics. Dentists trained in this subspecialty rehabilitate patients with a history of traumatic injury, head and neck cancer and birth defects. The dental management of head and cancer patients before, during and after radiation therapy is one of many responsibilities of the maxillofacial prosthodontist. It is imperative that patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer see a prosthodontist BEFORE radiation therapy begins to assess the condition of their teeth, make recommendations regarding extractions (triage care) and fabricate fluoride trays to help prevent tooth decay. Using artificial materials, the maxillofacial prosthodontist is also trained to restore both oral and facial defects with prosthetic replacements including, obturators, eyes, a nose or other missing portions of the face.

Dr. Craig Wada staffs an experienced prosthodontist, so please contact Placer Prosthodontics Inc. if you are need of a prosthodontist. You can reach us at (916) 630-9048.