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What’s the difference between a dentist and a prosthodontist?

The medical field is full of general practitioners and specialists. For example, a family doctor provides general services, while a dermatologist provides specialized services. The dental field is no different. That’s why our maxillofacial prosthodontist is here to help you understand the main differences between a dentist and a prosthodontist.

Do you have significant dental damage or missing teeth? If so, Dr. Gary Horblitt can help you repair the damage and replace missing teeth with affordable, lifelike solutions. Get the care you deserve today by calling our prosthodontist in Fairfield, CT, at (203) 335-1011.

Meanwhile, let’s explore the differences and similarities between a general dentist and a prosthodontist. Understanding the role of each professional in your healthcare team can help you get the treatments you need when you need them.

What is a general dentist?

As the title suggests, a general dentist is a dental professional who provides generalized services. This may include:

  • Preventive care, like dental checkups, oral cancer screenings, and teeth cleanings
  • Restorative care, like cavity removal, tooth replacement, and root canal therapy
  • Cosmetic care, like teeth whitening, dental veneers, and cosmetic dental bonding

A general dentist must have at least eight years of schooling and training. After that, they must pass very hard exams before they can begin seeing and helping patients. Becoming a dentist is quite an accomplishment!

What is a prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is similar to a dentist, but they receive more schooling and training than a general dentist does. This is because a prosthodontist provides more specialized services, such as:

  • Oral surgery, including jaw surgery and dental implant surgery
  • Making prosthetics, like dentures, partial dentures, and dental bridges
  • Full mouth reconstruction, which may include oral surgery and prosthetics

The word ‘prosthodontist’ comes from the Greek word ‘prósthesis’ and the Greek ending ‘-odontia.’ Together, these words mean ‘added teeth’. So, a prosthodontist is an expert at adding teeth back into your smile after tooth loss.

And they are experts, indeed! Prosthodontists undergo three more years of schooling and training compared to general dentists. They are also not as common as dentists, as there are roughly 190,000 practicing dentists compared to 3,500 practicing prosthodontists in the US.

Which is right for me: a dentist or a prosthodontist?

Choosing the right dental professional for you depends on your needs. For example, do you need a routine checkup and dental cleaning? If so, then a trip to a general dentist may be best.

A prosthodontist may be a better fit for patients who want to:

  • Address complex dental damage
  • Treat issues in the jaws
  • Replace many missing teeth
  • Completely reconstruct their smiles
  • Get personalized, lifelike dental prosthetics, like dentures, bridges, and crowns

If you’re still not sure which dental professional is right for you, just ask! Our team is more than happy to help you get the care you need with the right provider for you.

Prosthodontist in Fairfield, CT

Do you have dental damage, missing teeth, or a complex oral health issue? If so, then you might need to see our prosthodontist in Fairfield, CT. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary Horblitt by calling (203) 335-1011 or submitting a request here.


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