What is Prosthodontics and what does a Prosthodontist do?
Prosthodontics is one of the thirteen board recognised dental specialties in Australia. In addition to their basic dental degree which usually takes 5 years to complete, a board registered dental specialist such as a prosthodontist will require to achieve an additional 3-year post-graduate doctorate degree in their chosen field of speciality in an accredited University.
Prosthodontics pertains to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with missing or deficient teeth or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.
In essence, a Specialist Prosthodontist are experts in complex oral rehabilitation, restorative, cosmetic and implant dentistry. Prosthodontists are commonly regard as the “architect of the mouth”, as prosthodontists commonly lead a team of expert general dentists, dental specialists and other health professionals to develop tailored solutions to a patient’s needs.
Dr. Louis Kei
BDSc Hons (Qld), MRACDS (GDP),
D. Clin. Dent. (Syd), MRACDS (Pros)
Dr Louis Kei is a registered specialist prosthodontist in Sydney, Australia. He completed his Bachelors of Dental Science with honours from the University of Queensland and Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry (Prosthodontics) from the University of Sydney. He is also a Member of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons in both the general dental practice and the specialist prosthodontics stream by examination. Louis currently holds a position at the Westmead Centre for Oral Health as a visiting Prosthodontist and is actively involved in the training of post-graduate students at the University of Sydney. As a highly active member of the dental community, Louis has published in dental journals and is a member of the International Team of Implantologists, Australian Prosthodontic Society, Academy of the Australian and New Zealand Prothodontists, and the Australian Osseointegration Society.
Prosthodontics Case Study - Aesthetic Smile Enhancement
This patient had a history of rampant dental decay when she was a teenager and had extensive white fillings done on multiple front teeth as a young adult. In addition, excessive consumption of acidic fizzy soft drinks and grinding has left her upper front teeth worn and damaged. These restorations are now failing and heavily stained, detracting from an ideal smile. The treatment plan for this patient involved the use of conservative direct white filings and aesthetic all ceramic crowns to restore the colour, shape and form of her upper front teeth.
Stained worn down upper incisors
Aesthetic white fillings and ceramic crowns
What Treatment does a Prosthodontist offer?
There is no such thing as one treatment suits all, hence, a Specialist Prosthodontist offers a full range of treatment modalities to suit the patient’s specific clinical and personal needs. These treatment modalities may include:
Full mouth rehabilitations
Tooth wear management (Prematurely worn-down teeth often due to dietary acids and gastric reflux; Abnormal teeth abrasions; Bruxism or teeth clenching/grinding)
Dental Implants (Single implant tooth replacements; Multiple teeth replacements, to Full mouth teeth replacements including treatment such as All-On-4s®)
Crowns and Bridges
Porcelain veneers, onlays and inlays for aesthetic improvements
Removable partial and full dentures
In addition, Specialist Prosthodontists also treats:
Oro-facial pain, Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs)
Snoring and Sleep Apnoea treatment in collaboration with Specialist ENTs or a medical Sleep Medicine Specialists
Prosthodontics Case Study - Painless Approach
This young gentleman presented with great concerns about his worn-down teeth which is affecting his smile and confidence, he also found his teeth to be sensitive to cold drinks and when he brushes his teeth. We were able to identify lifestyle factors which included regular consumption of juice and soft drinks that contributed to his teeth wearing down. Upon managing these factors, our team was able to rebuild his teeth with a “no drill” approach and bonded aesthetic white resin fillings. These were individually hand crafted for him in the laboratory. No needles were required and the patient was very happy to have his smile back in such a painless approach.
Worn down teeth
No drill approach bonded white resin fillings
Do I need to see a Prosthodontist?
You may see a Specialist Prosthodontist for treatment if you are referred by your general dentist. Alternatively, we may seek the care of a Prosthodontist if you have the following needs:
You are missing one or more teeth
You are interested and considering having dental implants
You have loose and uncomfortable dentures
You have repeated breakages of your teeth or failures of dental restorations
You want an improvement in your smile
Prosthodontics Case Study - Complex Dental Implant Rehabilitation
This gentleman was a long-term ex-smoker and suffered from severe periodontitis (gum infections). Many years later, most of his remaining upper teeth were loose due to the gum infection or were severely broken down due to dental decay. He wore a removable partial denture which has poor aesthetics and he doesn’t like the “gap” between his two upper central incisors. He underwent a full mouth rehabilitation and received an upper implant-supported bridge. He can now chew comfortably and has the confidence to smile again!
Severe Periodontitis (Gum Infection)
Full Mouth Rehabilitation
Your Initial Visit with a Prosthodontist
Your first visit to a Specialist Prosthodontist is the most important, as it lays the core foundations of a great dental result!
Every patient presents a unique dental situation and a bespoke solution is required. Understanding YOUR needs are the first critical steps, in formulating the most appropriate treatment plan.
A Prosthodontist will give you the time needed for a comprehensive examination and evaluation which may include:
Your medical and dental history
Radiographs / X-rays
Examination of the hard and soft tissue, including cancer screening
A cosmetic evaluation of your face and teeth including colour, tooth position and arrangement of your teeth
Examination of existing restorations such as dental fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures etc., to determine if they are in good condition
Examination of the jaw joints to screen and discuss how they may affect your treatment
Examination of your bite (Occlusion)
Examination of your gums to identify pockets, recession and mobility of the teeth
Study impressions or digital scans to evaluate the relationship and position of your teeth in the laboratory
When completed, further information may be required and you may need for a second consultation. Once the Prosthodontist has all this information, a definitive plan or plans can be formulated. It is not unusual several options are presented to you for your consideration and consent.
Prosthodontics Case Study - Your Oral Architect
This lovely gentleman presented to our rooms with the primary concern being his missing upper left premolars. After a thorough examination and evaluation, there were many other underlying dental issues that were at hand including a poor bite(Occlusion) leading to repeated fractures of his restorations and teeth; failing crowns; residual root canal infections. Our Specialist Prosthodontist which acted as “oral architect” co-ordinated with other dental specialists which included orthodontics, endodontics and periodontics and provided him with a tailored treatment plan. After his full-mouth rehabilitation, this gentleman was able to chew comfortably with his teeth again!
Missing upper left premolars
Full Mouth Rehabilitation
Contact Pinnacle Dental for your Prosthodontic consult
If you want prosthodontics dentistry quickly and effectively, don’t hesitate to call 02 9526 1458 and book a consultation with our staff. We can determine the best solution for you based on your needs and budget, helping you get healthy teeth.
Pinnacle Dental Group, 7/19-21 Central Rd, Miranda NSW 2228