What is a Prosthodontist?


A prosthodontist has completed three years of post-dental school training in an accredited prosthodontics residency program. Their training includes an extensive education in the fields of dental materials, dental implants, complete and partial removable prosthodontics, fixed prosthodontics, complex oral rehabilitation, and maxillofacial prosthodontics. In essence a prosthodontist is an artistic dental engineer with comprehensive clinical experience whose goal is the restoration of optimal function and appearance to patients’ dentition and smile. As a result they are masters of complete oral rehabilitation and are dedicated to the highest standards of care in the restoration and replacement of teeth.

During his prosthodontic training at The Ohio State University, Dr. Howell completed three years of clinical training and course work which included graduate courses in advanced dental materials, implant dentistry, dentures, anatomy, pathology, dental laboratory work, and many others.  As much as 25% of the three year residency is spent teaching and mentoring dental students in all areas of dentistry, both in a clinical and dentureslaboratory setting.  Dr. Howell had the opportunity to treat patients with a variety of concerns that included: missing teeth, severe tooth wear, jaw problems, cosmetic concerns, accidents, and birth defects.  Due to the complexity often involved with these types of treatments, Prosthodontists are much like the quarterback of a football team by directing and orchestrating all aspects of patient care with the other dental specialists.


Here are some FAQ about Prosthodontists:

What treatment can Prosthodontists perfom?

The American Dental Association states that a prosthodontist is an expert in “restoring natural teeth or replacing missing teeth”. This means that most dental services like fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, and cosmetic dentistry are services that a prosthodontist performs. Some additional services like extractions and simple surgery are also done by some prosthodontists.  Maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile is also one of the main concerns of the prosthodontist.  To accomplish this for their patients, hygiene treatments such as cleanings, preventative care, and regularly scheduled exams are performed as well.  These maintenance services can, and often are, alternated between the prosthodontist’s office and that of the referring doctor.  By doing this, special care is taken for excellent follow up with all the parties involved with the patient.

Can I expect to pay higher fees to a Prosthodontist?

The short answer to this is: sometimes.  It would have to depend on your perspective for the care you are receiving.  Consider that a prosthodontist is very familiar with complex treatment, and you are potentially paying for their expertise that may save you time and money in the long run.

Do I need a referral from another dentist to see a Prosthodontist?

No.  Although prosthodontists are often referred patients by general dentists and specialists, it is not required.

Who can benefit from seeing a Prosthodontist?

  • You are unsatisfied with your current or past dental work
  • You have a reoccurring dental issue that others have failed to solve for you
  • You suffer from medical concerns that have attributed to your severe dental decay and/or dry mouth
  • You need crowns/bridges and want to seek the care of a specialist in this treatment.
  • You are missing teeth
  • You have severely worn down teeth
  • You grind and/or clench your teeth, with or without associated pain
  • You have interest in what dental implants can do for you and your missing teeth
  • You have difficulty with your current dentures
  • You are concerned with the quality of your dental care
  • You need a dentist that can restore the optimal appearance and function to your smile
  • You need a dentist with advanced training in esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth

For more information please visit prosthodontics.org or gotoapro.org.