How do I Become a Prosthodontist?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Beginning a career as a prosthodontist requires a commitment to education. This is because it can take about 10 years to become a prosthodontist. A person interested in this career must first complete high school and then go on to college. After college, he then attends dental school, which takes about four years to complete. Following graduation from dental school, a person who wants to become a prosthodontist typically goes on to complete two or three years of training in prosthodontics.

A prosthodontist is commonly known for replacing teeth with dentures.
A prosthodontist is commonly known for replacing teeth with dentures.

A prosthodontist is a person who specializes in replacing teeth, jaws, and other parts of the mouth with artificial structures. Many people are most familiar with prosthodontists' work replacing teeth with dentures, but this is only one of the types of replacements this professional provides. A prosthodontist may also provide patients with crowns, veneers, bridges, and implants. He may also help patients who have oral cancer, disorders involving sleep and snoring, and traumatic injuries. He may even use his expertise with artificial mouth structures to help a patient stop grinding his teeth.

Mouth guards are often used to prevent people from grinding their teeth.
Mouth guards are often used to prevent people from grinding their teeth.

If a person wants to become a prosthodontist, he can begin his studies in high school. The prospective prosthodontist has the chance to take advanced classes in science, math, and language that may help to prepare him for college-level work. Each college or university sets its own requirements for new students, so a person who wants to become a prosthodontist should contact the college he’s interested in attending to learn its specific admission requirements. Most students choose to work toward a science degree while in college, such as biology or chemistry, to prepare for dental school.

A prosthodonist may be able to provide a solution for a patient's loud snoring and other sleep disorders.
A prosthodonist may be able to provide a solution for a patient's loud snoring and other sleep disorders.

Dental school requirements may vary, but some admit students before they’ve obtained undergraduate degrees. For example, a person may gain admittance to a dental school after completing just three years of college in some cases. Many dental schools do prefer bachelor’s degrees, however. Once admitted to dental school, a person who wants to become a prosthodontist usually completes four years of education before earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. In some cases, a prospective prosthodontist may earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree instead.

Dental implants often require that the prosthodontist have some surgical experience.
Dental implants often require that the prosthodontist have some surgical experience.

After graduating from dental school, a person who wants to become a prosthodontist often goes on to receive three additional years of education and training. For example he usually attends a three-year specialty program that focuses on prosthodontics. Once he’s finished this program, he may receive a certificate or graduate-level degree in the field. In most places, an aspiring prosthodontist is also required to obtain a license to practice in his jurisdiction. Licensing requirements vary, depending on the jurisdiction.

A prosthodontist may need to custom-make and fit dental bridges to fill gaps where teeth are missing.
A prosthodontist may need to custom-make and fit dental bridges to fill gaps where teeth are missing.
An aspiring prosthodontist should plan to attend dental school.
An aspiring prosthodontist should plan to attend dental school.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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