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Prosthodontics is a dental specialty that uses biocompatible substitutes (prosthetics) to maintain oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients who have with missing or deficient teeth, or missing or damaged oral and maxillofacial tissues. A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in implant, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry. Prosthodontists plan and fabricate various prostheses to treat complex cosmetic cases, full mouth reconstructions, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) related disorders, congenital disorders, and sleep apnea. Prosthodontics is a recognized American Dental Association specialty of dentistry. Prosthodontists complete three years of additional formal training in an accredited residency training program after the required four years of dental school. Some prosthodontists further their training in oral and maxillofacial prosthodontics–a subspecialty in prosthodontics concerned with the replacement of missing facial structures such as ears, eyes and nose. Physicians in this specialty treat patients suffering from numerous diseases and illnesses, but some of the most common are TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, congenital disorders, sleep apnea, congenital craniofacial malformations (craniosynostosis), trauma of the oral and maxillofacial region, and missing or deficient teeth. Once properly diagnosed, practitioners can perform numerous procedures on patients including dental implants, esthetic dentistry, reconstructive dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, restorative dentistry, fixed prosthodontics, crowns, bridges, dentures, partial dentures, inlays, onlays, and veneers.
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