The University of Minnesota Advanced Prosthodontic Clinic, located in the Moos Health Science Tower, is a teaching institution that provides a variety of high-quality, affordable prosthodontic and implant treatment options. Treatment provided in the graduate clinic is part of the three-year residency program in which licensed dentists are in advanced prosthodontic and implant training to become specialists in prosthodontics.
What is a Prosthodontist?
What is a Prosthodontist?
Prosthodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American and Canadian Dental Associations. Prosthodontists have extended training in areas of restorative dentistry that include dental implants for individual or multiple tooth sites, crowns, bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, cosmetics, and facial and dental birth developmental defects. Prosthodontists are also trained in the hands-on technical aspects of laboratory fabrication of complex dental prosthetics and complex restoration of dental and facial esthetics.
A dental implant is a "root" device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth. Titanium is very strong and biologically inert and unlike most metals is readily accepted by the body. Implants come in different shapes and sizes. There are many designs and manufacturers of dental implants but most are cylindrical or somewhat tapered like a natural root.
Since the advent of dental implants, it has become possible to stabilize wobbly dentures by using implants as anchors. In the lower jaw, which is commonly the most problematic arch, as few as 2 implants can transform the misfortune of having an unstable CLD into a situation of much greater satisfaction. Because the bone in the upper jaw is spongy and not as durable, 6 implants are usually required. Fixed connector bars can be made where multiple implants are possible. This in turn provides even greater stability and longevity. The dentures then snap overtop and onto the implant bars, but can still be detached for cleaning.
A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. While inarguably beneficial to dental health, the procedure and materials can be relatively expensive. The most common method of crowning a tooth involves using a dental impression of a prepared tooth by a dentist to fabricate the crown outside of the mouth. The crown can then be inserted at a subsequent dental appointment. Using this indirect method of tooth restoration allows use of strong restorative materials requiring time consuming fabrication methods requiring intense heat, such as casting metal or firing porcelain which would not be possible to complete inside the mouth.
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable; however there are many different denture designs that can be supported or retained by dental implants.