These days it seems every dentist calls him or herself a “cosmetic dentist.” It can be confusing. What training is involved? How is a general dentist different from a cosmetic dentist? What about prosthodontic procedures such as dental implants?
Dr. Velasco would like you, our patients, to know what makes a practitioner a cosmetic dentist or a prosthodontist.
To become a cosmetic dentist…
Just about any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. After all, a general dentist simply needs to take a few courses in various cosmetic treatments to then be able to be a cosmetic dentist. These days, with the reality of patients wanting more cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers, bonding, and teeth whitening, most general dentists have added the skills necessary to offer them. Cosmetic dentistry is not recognized as a dental specialty by the American Dental Association.
To become a prosthodontist…
Prosthodontists are dentists who have had an additional three to four years of training to then become a “prosthodontist.” During those extra years of training, the student must learn the options for replacing missing teeth with dental implants and dental bridges. This extra training also involves in-depth focus on all cosmetic treatments, from porcelain veneers to full-mouth reconstruction is covered. Dental prostheses are also a main focus.
Prosthodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the ADA. This is because it takes a special blending of functionality and aesthetic expertise to replace a missing tooth or teeth for a patient.
Along with all of the general and preventive dentistry procedures, a prosthodontist like Dr. Velasco can perform the following procedures:
- Dental implants
- Dental veneers
- Dental crowns
- Dental bridges
- Full and partial dentures
So, don’t be fooled by marketing hype. Dr. Velasco and all other prosthodontists are general dentists who’ve gone on to have another three or four years of training in the ins and outs of replacing missing teeth and making patients’ smiles look cosmetically great. A purely “cosmetic dentist” is nothing but a title.
Is it time for you to come see the team at Uptown? Call us at 713-960-9623 to make an appointment.