A Prosthodontist is a dentist specialized in the field of Prosthodontics, one of nine dental specialties recognized by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the American Dental Association(ADA). The Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) reviews and accredits the education programs in the nine dental specialties in Canada.
Accreditation is a process by which CDAC recognizes dental and allied dental education programs - as well as health facility dental services - as having met nationally-determined requirements or standards, as established by CDAC. The nine recognized specialties are Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Medicine and Pathology, Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Prosthodontics.
The CDA defines Prosthodontics as “that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, restoration and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health of the patient by the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth and contiguous oral and maxillofacial tissues with artificial substitutes”.
Prosthodontists, in addition to their basic dental education, have to successfully complete a rigorous advanced postdoctoral educational program in Prosthodontics accredited by the CDA/ADA. This in-depth additional education provides Prosthodontists not only with enhanced knowledge and skills in their specialty but also enables them to interact with researchers as well as with clinical experts in other dental/medical fields. Effective communication with a team of experts provides Prosthodontists with a broad insight in diagnosing and solving oral health problems.
In our modern society, oral deterioration and loss of teeth are often the consequence of dental caries (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). Other causes could include oral cancer, trauma and behavioral conditions such as teeth grinding. As a consequence, it can leave a patient with impaired esthetics, compromised chewing function, psychological discomfort and negatively affect quality of life.
The Prosthodontist's role as the “oral architect” of the dental team means that they develop treatment plans and synchronise treatment sequences with dental/medical specialists as well as with general dentists in order to provide the most comprehensive care to patients. The clinical expertise of the Prosthodontist consists mainly of two components:
Additional education provides Prosthodontists with a broad insight in diagnosing and solving oral health problems. Identification of the cause of oral deterioration is a key element to any dental treatment in order to stop the progression of disease, minimise its impact on the oral environment, develop an effective treatment strategy and prevent future recurrence.