Duties and responsibilities
Although no two days are the same and the daily duties of a prosthodontist depends on their employer, some typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Fitting veneers onto patient’s teeth to conceal tooth defects and improve the aesthetics of their mouth and jaw
- Replacing missing teeth with permanent fixtures, such as crowns, bridges or dentures. This also involves being able to fix them if they get damaged or need replacing
- Diagnosing and creating effective treatment plans for patients with jaw or joint pain and problems
- Collaborating and working closely with general dentists and other specialists to develop effective treatment plans for patients
- Designing and fitting dental protheses. In order to ensure they fit perfectly, this involves measuring and taking impressions of patient’s teeth and jaw to determine the fit
- Keeping and maintaining detailed records of each patient’s treatment plan so that they are interpretable to other medical professionals
- Reading and understand each patient’s medical notes before conducting work
- Keeping up to date and knowledgeable with all trends and changes into prosthodontics
Prosthodontists undergo the same education as general dentists whereby they take an undergraduate degree, normally in science. They then attend dental school and receive either a degree in either Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree, which takes four years.
After this, aspiring prosthodontists go on to study of course in prosthodontistry for an additional three years, which is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) for prosthodontistry.
Skills and relevant work experience
Obviously, experience is required in order to become a prosthodontist. However, this is why they attend school for so long; in order to complete practical and clinical assessments to gain the knowledge and experience to qualify. Similarly, like dentists, prosthodontists must demonstrate excellent dexterity as they have to work with complexed tools in small spaces.
Prosthodontists will demonstrate excellent critical thinking skills as they have to use logic and reason to create effective treatment plans that are effective. With this, also comes problem-solving skills when creating treatment plans. To aid this, knowledge of science and mathematics is crucial.
Prosthodontists should also demonstrate excellent communication and active listening skills as they will have to communicate with other medical staff and listen to their patients by giving them their full attention to figure out the problem. On top of this, prosthodontists should also demonstrate excellent organization skills as they will have to keep records tidy and accessible to other medical staff.
Prosthodontists work similar hours to general dentists, which is around 40 hours a week that is typically Monday to Friday. However, they may sometimes have to work out of hours to treat medical emergencies or to meet patient’s needs.
According to PayScale, the average salary of a Prosthodontist is $176,311 per annum, with the bottom 10% earning $96,000 and the top 10% bringing home over $275,000.
Like dentists, there is the option to start up your own practice which gives excellent autonomy, control and flexibility. Progression also includes becoming partners in well-regarded associate dental practices.