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When a patient with missing teeth needs special care or has an uncommon issue regarding implants or dentures, his dentist may refer him to a denture specialist. A denture specialist has specific qualifications in dentistry, not only for creating prosthetic dental devices, but for diagnosing the cause of denture or oral pain. Most denture specialists also construct false teeth, commonly referred to as dentures. The specialist will also find effective solutions for patients with special issues, such as gag reflex. This type of specialist, commonly known as a denturist, will perform other procedures as well, such as placing a crown over a damaged tooth to recondition the appearance and improve function.
Occasionally, a patient may need to replace dentures or another prosthetic device, due to damage or defect. If a dentist cannot correct the situation, or if special expertise is required, a dentist may consult with or refer the patient to a denture specialist. Due to his extensive training, the denture specialist is able to identify unique issues and find a constructive solution. He may also custom create a prosthetic device for a patient with special needs.
The denture specialist will hold a degree in dentistry, and also be licensed to become a professional prosthodontist. Although regulations may differ according to region, a licensed denture specialist will typically be board certified by the American Dental Association. This association requires tests for those who seek certification, and requires dentists to take the tests again to be periodically recertified.
Once certified, a denture specialist may begin his practice. Denture technology specialists may also decide to go into practice with an orthodontist or oral surgeon. Working together, these dental professionals can find solutions for patients with special needs. The denture specialist may also work independently.
Specialists involved in prosthetic dentistry perform dental implant surgery as well. The specialist may perform a simple implant procedure to replace one missing tooth, or several teeth may be implanted. For these procedures, he may use advanced techniques such as grafting. Additionally, he may perform surgery to correct what is known as a buried dental implant.
Denture specialists often create innovative new techniques and devices for their patients. Denturists find ways to improve the comfort and functionality of prosthetic devices. He may use various materials to achieve desired results.
Many denture specialists treat patients with common problems such as sleep apnea or snoring. To treat a patient with these issues, the specialist may fit him with a specially designed oral device. This device will be custom made by the denturist according to each patient's unique needs.