Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.
Maxillofacial Prosthetics is an option that graduates of a prosthodontic training program may wish to pursue. Maxillofacial prosthetics training equips the prosthodontist with the skills to meet the needs of certain medically compromised patients. For example, patients who require surgical resection of diseased facial bones and/or portions of the mouth are fitted with prostheses to replace these tissues or structures. Maxillofacial prosthodontists design and construct these more intricate appliances, which may also include prostheses to replace a missing ear, eye, or nose. Frequently, this specialist performs part of the practice within the hospital setting.
Most prosthodontics training programs are located in dental schools, hospitals, or government service facilities. Some programs are clinically focused, while others are focused on research. The preferred program places equal emphasis on fixed and removable prosthodontics, and includes some experience in maxillofacial prosthodontics. All accredited prosthodontics programs will be a minimum of 33 months in length. Some programs offer a certificate in prosthodontics; many offer both the certificate and the Master of Science degree.
Most maxillofacial prosthetics programs are one year in length, and based at dental schools or hospitals. Applicants must have successfully completed a training program in Prosthodontics.