Prosthodontology

Prosthodontology is a restoration specialty of dentistry that includes the use of prosthetics and reconstructive techniques. Learn about the employment outlook, salary info, degree requirements and course topics.

Is Prosthodontology for Me?

Career Details

Prosthodontology is a field of dentistry dealing with replacing missing teeth and oral tissue, as well as restoring damaged teeth. Prosthodontists help patients achieve a pleasing smile and a more functional bite. It is part dentistry and part cosmetic surgery.

Prosthodontists typically complete three years of study in prosthodontology after receiving a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Working as a prosthodontist, you focus on the cosmetic aspects of a patient's smile and the proper functioning of a patient's teeth for speaking and eating.

The majority of prosthodontists work in private practice dentistry. Teaching, either part- or full-time, or researching are alternate career options for a prosthodontist.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), prosthodontists earned a median yearly salary of $169,130 as of 2012 (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted that employment opportunities for prosthodontists would rise 15% between 2012 and 2022.

How Can I Become a Prosthodontist?

Dental Education

If you are interested in studying prosthodontology, you must first complete 4 years in dental school earning a DDS or DMD degree. You need at least two years of pre-dental college studies before starting dental school, but many students earn at least a bachelor's degree first.

Specialization

Your next step is to enroll in a prosthodontology program at a university or hospital accredited by the American Dental Association. You may study dental and surgical implants, extractable prosthetics, restoration after mouth cancer, esthetics, oral diseases and serious oral injuries. Prosthodontology programs include in-class courses, lab exercises and clinical experiences working with experienced prosthodontists. After three years of study, you take the certification examination given by the American Board of Prosthodontics.

Licensing

You need a license to practice dentistry in the United States. Licensing requirements depend upon the individual state. Contact your state's dentistry board to learn about your state's specific regulations.

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