Prosthodontist Job Description

Prosthodontist explaining a procedure to a dental client

Prosthodontist explaining a procedure to a dental client

Prosthodontist Job Description: Prosthodontists are dentists who specializes in crowns, bridges and dentures and other methods to replace missing teeth. Otherwise most of the job description details are similar to that of a dentist.

Dentists diagnose, prevent, and treat problems with teeth or mouth tissue. They remove decay, fill cavities, examine x rays, place protective plastic sealants on children’s teeth, straighten teeth, and repair fractured teeth. They also perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum diseases. Dentists extract teeth and make models and measurements for dentures to replace missing teeth. They provide instruction on diet, brushing, flossing, the use of fluorides, and other aspects of dental care. They also administer anesthetics and write prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications.

Dentists use a variety of equipment, including x-ray machines; drills; and instruments such as mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, brushes, and scalpels. They wear masks, gloves, and safety glasses to protect themselves and their patients from infectious diseases.  Prosthodontists may also create molds and specify manufacturing specifications for the dental bridges and dentures they use to replace missing teeth.

Prosthodontists in private practice oversee a variety of administrative tasks, including bookkeeping and buying equipment and supplies. They may employ and supervise dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians, and receptionists.

Working Environment

Prosthodontists usually work in small private offices or clinics, sometimes supported by a small staff of assistants and other administrative personnel. They also may spend time performing surgery at hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers. Prosthodontists with private practices set their own hours but may work evenings and weekends to accommodate their patients. The average specialty dentist works approximately 40 hours per week. This widget has not been authorized to run on this site.

Training and Qualifications - to be a  Prosthodontist

Dentists are healthcare practitioners who specialize in oral health.  The general dentist usually has a baccalaureate degree with a heavy emphasis on chemistry, biology and physiology followed by a four year program which leads to a Doctor of Dentistry degree.  After completing a general dentistry degree a practitioner desiring to specialize in prosthedontics will serve in a residency program specializing in prosthedontics. Upon graduating from the residency program he or she will specialize in the area of dentistry known as prosthedontric dentistry. 

Licensing and Credentialing

In all 50 states and the U.S. Territories the practice of dentistry is regulated. The usual method to be a credentialed and licensed dentist is:
1) Possess the amount of training and/or a degree from an accredited school of dental medicine
2) Graduate from a Prosthodontic Residency program
3) Pass a national exam
4) Apply for licensure in the state you wish to practice in.

Important Points for the Prosthodontist Job Description

Most dentists are solo practitioners.

Dentists usually complete at least 8 years of education beyond high school.

A residency in Prosthodontic dentistry is required to specialize in this area

Employment is projected to grow more slowly than average, and most job openings will result from the need to replace the large number of dentists expected to retire.

Job prospects should be good.

The management of a prosthodontic dental practice requires the same skills as for a small business; accounts receivable, hiring employees, and business overhead are just a few of the many details that will have to be dealt with.

Career Progression

The majority of Prosthodontists are engaged in private practice.  Unless they work for a major corporation or form a group practice promotions and advancement will be limited.  Increases in salary will come from raising their fees and/or passing on rising costs to the consumer.  For those who are employed advancement will vary depending on the size of the organization.

Resources for Prosthodontists Job Description:

Prosthodontists: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

The American Prosthodontic Society