Prosthodontists are the experts in the restoration and replacement of teeth. People will often go to a prosthodontist because they have lost one or more teeth, whether due to an accident or as part of the aging process. The loss of teeth can be traumatic and may affect a person’s outlook on life. Smiling or going out to eat can become stressful or embarrassing. By using crowns, bridges, and full or partial dentures, a prosthodontist can help a person regain their smile, improve their appearance, and self-confidence.
The work of a prosthodontist requires precision, and while most prosthodontists will perform the procedure correctly with no ill effects, mistakes resulting in lasting injury can be made, some due to negligence.
When a prosthodontist is preparing a natural tooth to receive a crown, he or she needs to be careful not to remove so much of the tooth that there is damage to the pulp chamber which contains the nerve. Should damage result, the tooth will need a root canal. Additionally, the prosthodontist must also be careful in:
- Placing crowns that are properly suited to the mouth of the patient and match the surrounding teeth in shape and color as closely as possible.
- Placing the support post so that the root of the tooth receiving the crown is not injured.
- Placing crowns that are contoured properly at the gum line so that “open margins” are not left, which would allow for the accumulation of food and bacteria, leading to cavities in the roots of the teeth and periodontal disease.
Errors in crown placement can also result in pain, the crown becoming loose, and additional work being necessary, or other complications requiring additional time, costs, and stress.
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