SO TELL ME...
AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BOARD CERTIFIED?
Prosthodontics is a recognized dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues.
Choose a prosthodontist because of their advanced education and training, efficiency, and expertise with advanced technology. A prosthodontist specializes in restoring and enhancing smiles to their highest capacity. Advanced training beyond dental school gives prosthodontists the additional skills needed to treat complex cases and help patients achieve maximum aesthetics and comprehensive oral health.
Prosthodontics (also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry) is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Prosthodontists specialize in the diagnosis, restoration, and replacement of missing teeth. Prosthodontists can restore oral function through the placement of restorations or prostheses (dentures, crowns, implants, etc.). Extensive training and experience give prosthodontists a unique understanding of restoring the dynamics of a smile and healthy mouth with the creation of tooth prostheses. Becoming a prosthodontist requires an additional three years of specialty training after obtaining a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. There are a few highly sought after programs in the country that also offer an M.S. degree (Master of Science) as an additional accreditation.
This specialized training must be completed at an ADA-accredited prosthodontic education program. This is where prosthodontists are highly trained in state-of-the-art techniques and procedures for treating multiple, diverse, and complex dental conditions. They will also learn how to restore the optimum function and aesthetics of a smile.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? LET’S DISCUSS:
As our society enters an ever-increasing environment of advertising, Internet searches, and health care marketing, it is important that consumers of these services be made aware of what their provider’s credentials actually represent.
For instance, general dentists can add the words “implant dentistry” to their advertising, which would imply that the individual has at least advanced training in this area, which may not be true. This represents a potential patient safety issue, as care may be administered that is not only inappropriate but also may not be to an established standard of care. Furthermore, many organizations in dentistry have established educational goals or certifying examinations, which award the individual the title of “fellow” or “diplomate.” Again, improper use of these credentials could mislead the public as to the recognized qualifications of the provider.
It is the position of the American College of Prosthodontists that only individuals who have completed an ADA-recognized specialty program in prosthodontics be allowed to declare themselves a “Prosthodontist” or “Specialist in Prosthodontics.” Dentists who perform prosthodontic procedures in their practice must clearly state that they are a general dentist or other ADA-recognized specialty if they are not a prosthodontist. Furthermore, the use of additional “letters” following the dentist’s name when presented to the public should be limited to institutional presented advanced degrees and specialty board certification in one of the nine recognized dental specialties. This is in alignment with state dental licensing boards and the ADA Professional Code of Ethics.7 Additional abbreviations, as listed in category 3 above, can only be used in publication, curriculum vitae, or among professionals to indicate professional status. These credentials should not be used when marketing to consumers who would have difficulty understanding their significance. Board certification helps ensure the public that formal training has been completed and a sufficient knowledge base in the specialty has been demonstrated.
COLLABORATION IS VITAL
While we may serve as the “architect” of a dental treatment plan, we often collaborate with your general dentist and other specialists to facilitate the complete treatment of your condition.
Prosthodontic treatment can literally redesign your smile with a number of different services including dental veneers, inlays/onlays, dental bonding, dental implants, dentures, teeth whitening, dental bridges, and dental crowns.
About the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP):
The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) is the only ADA‐recognized organization for the specialty
of prosthodontics, and is the only prosthodontic organization whose membership is based solely on
Dr. Hal N. Arnold received his advanced accreditation post-doctoral accreditation in prosthodontics alongside a master of science degree at the esteemed University of Iowa School of Dentistry which garnered him certification by the American Board of Prosthodontics.
Call our office at Hal N. Arnold, D.M.D., M.S. Esthetic & Implant Dentistry
why i chose to become board certified prosthodontist...
REPLACE WITH A QUOTE FROM HAL
“During my residency program at the University of Iowa, Board Certification was heavily emphasized because my program director, Dr. Kenneth Turner had just come off of his stent as president of the American Board of Prosthodontics. A personal goal of mine was set to become Board certified. It was another way I could distinguish myself from other peers in my profession. As one of my mentors Dr. Richard Jordan would always say, ‘ When you are Board Certified, you are always on the inside looking out’. In addtion, I was encouraged to do research in the field to attain a Masters of Science degree in Prosthodontics- a degree my mentors at Iowa would always say, ‘ They can never take that away from you’. “
FAQs you've always wanted to know about board certified prosthodontists
WHAT IS PROSTHODONTICS?
Prosthodontics was one of the original dental specialties first recognized by the American Dental Association in 1948, along with oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, and periodontics. The ADA now recognizes nine dental specialties.
Prostho (derived from “prosthesis”) -dontics (derived from “odontia” or teeth) is the dental specialty that focuses on restoring missing or broken teeth through fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures.
HOW ARE PROSTHODONTISTS DIFFERENT?
After completing four years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school, prosthodontists undergo an additional three years of specialty training through a hospital or university-based program accredited by the ADA.
This rigorous advanced graduate training includes lectures, literature reviews, seminars, and laboratory and clinical training in all facets of dental health and restoration. These extra years are aimed at training prosthodontists to think comprehensively, which enables them to treat patients as a whole, not just as a set of individual teeth.
Prosthodontists most often serve as the directing coordinator of a patient’s overall dental treatment; in other words, they act as the “quarterback” on a team of other specialists that may include periodontists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and endodontists.
WHY SHOULD I SEE A BOARD-CERTIFIED PROSTHODONTIST?
After having complete the three-year residency program, prosthodontists have the option of applying for board certification. The process of becoming board certified is rigorous and can take years.
LESS THAN ½ OF ONE PERCENT OF DENTISTS
ARE BOARD-CERTIFIED PROSTHODONTISTS
The candidate is required to demonstrate the highest integration of clinical and didactic knowledge through four separate written and oral exams administered by the American Board of Prosthodontics.
After becoming certified, Diplomates are required to renew their certification every eight years to ensure they remain current on the newest updates to the specialty and the field of dentistry.
Call or text our office at (404) 948-1324 to schedule an appointment or consultation. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, Dr. Hal N. Arnold has proven the depth of his knowledge and skill in the field of prosthodontics. He is regarded as one of the most highly trained restorative dentists and is dedicated to the highest standard of care.