Prosthodonists can work magic. They can replace missing teeth and restore the ones that nature gave you when they have become worn down by time, injury, or disease. Beyond this, they can perform extremely complicated restorations of the mouth as well as treat any number of facial deformities. They are highly skilled professional and well worth their weight in gold...if you find a real one, that is. A disquieting trend is occurring in the industry where certain practitioners are trying to pass themselves off as prosthodonists.
To become a fully accredited prosthodontist, a post-doctorate certificate in prosthodontistry is required, which typically requires an additional three to four years worth of schooling after obtaining a degree in dentistry. In addition to this, prospective prosthodonists must successfully pass a written exam given by The Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC) along with an oral exam that includes a case presentation.
Due to the difficulty in passing this examination, many dentists are trying to pass themselves off as specialists in restorative and maxillofacial procedures, even though it is illegal for them to do so. Certified as regular dentists, these practitioners may try and tell you they are also prosthodonists even if they are not recognized as such by the RCDC. While it’s very possible that they have completed all the additional schooling necessary to complete the RCDC exams, the fact is, unless they have successfully passed the RCDC exams they cannot call themselves prosthodonists.
Further complicating the issue, you might come across a dentist who claims to be a prosthodontist because he or she has a certificate from the "American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry." You may also come across individuals passing themselves off as an “Associate Prosthodontist.” However, when it comes to being a truly certified prosthodontist, these certificates and titles are worthless.
For the public, it is easy to become miss-lead by the various degrees and certificates found in a dental office. To ensure that you are seeing a fully accredited prosthodontist, always remember to check two crucial elements: they have completed the necessary post-doctorate schooling and have earned a certificate in prosthodontistry and that they have successfully completed both exams given by the RCDC.
Prosthodontistry is a unique and extremely specialized area of dentistry that requires a great deal of skill and education. A great prosthodontist can restore your teeth, create new ones, or perform surgery to correct a variety of maxillofacial deformities. As such, you must make sure you are dealing with a legitimate professional and not one who is trying to pass him or herself off for something they are not. Because most people are unaware what a prosthodonists does, or what it takes to become one, it has become far too easy for regular dentists to pass themselves off as certified specialists in this area.
Your teeth are priceless and so is your health and well being. Take the extra time and caution it requires, ensuring that you are dealing with a certified prosthodontist. For more information about the The Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC) and its policies, please visit their website, or call our office and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.