Prosthodontist, Denturist, Cosmetic Dentist: Explaining How These Three Professionals Are Different (But Same!)

There are so many different dental specialists, and they each have different names in different countries around the globe. For example, a denturist is called a denturist in Canada and the U.S., but it is referred to as a clinical dental technologist in the U.K.. There is also the confusing conundrum of three dental professionals in the U.S. who all seem to be the same professional doing the same things, except that they are definitely different. These three professionals are a denturist, a cosmetic dentist, and a prosthodontist. Here is what makes these three dental professionals different but related. 

​What They Do Overlaps with the Other Professions

​A denturist makes and fits dentures. A prosthodontist creates oral prosthetics, like bridges, to fit empty spaces in a person's mouth, plus he/she inserts implants. A cosmetic dentist does teeth whitening, but also does implants. As you can see, each of these professionals does something the others make or do, and that is where it gets confusing. 

​The Prosthodontist Does Not Make the Dentures, but He/She Does Fit Them

​The prosthodontist is a prosthetics expert for your mouth. He/she takes molds of missing teeth, jaw bones, lips, etc., and creates some (not all) prosthetics to fix the anomalies in the face and mouth. He/she does not make dentures, but he/she would send the molds out-of-house to a denturist to make them. (The only exception is when a prosthodontist is also a licensed denturist.) When a set of dentures is completed by the denturist, they are sent to the prosthodontist for a fitting. 

​The Denturist Does Only Dentures

​A denturist does only dentures. He/she makes full and partial dentures, and sometimes bridges comprised of several teeth in a row. His/her specialty is what sets this professional completely apart from the other two. 

The Cosmetic Dentist Does Cosmetic Procedures Only

​Unless a cosmetic dentist also practices as a general dentist, the cosmetic dentist only does cosmetic procedures. Bridges, crowns, and partial dentures are more the business of a prosthodontist, while the cosmetic dentist is more involved in inserting and shaping implants. The cosmetic dentist handles multiple other cosmetic procedures that do not involve teeth replacement, which are all procedures not handled by either the denturist or the prosthodontist. 

Different Degrees, Different Certifications

​All three of these professionals start in dental school. Like lawyers, each takes a slightly different path after finishing dental school. A prosthodontist has the longest education to complete, while the cosmetic dentist has the shortest. The denturist has to spend several extra months to years learning his/her craft, which is more time spent than learning how to insert implants and whiten teeth. 

For more help, contact a dental clinic, such as NOVA PREMIER DENTAL.