Definition and Overview
A prosthodontist follow-up is a scheduled visit to the prosthodontist after the prosthodontics treatment has been completed. A prosthodontist is a dental specialist focusing on the restoration and replacement of damaged, broken, or decayed teeth. Their work revolves around ensuring that patients’ teeth function properly and at the same time, aesthetically pleasing. Due to the purpose of their work, they usually oversee an entire treatment plan that also involves other dental specialists. In many cases, this makes them the best dentists for patients who have multiple teeth problems.
A prosthodontist follow-up is an important part of the process of seeking teeth restoration or replacement treatments. The purpose of the visit is to make sure the treatment achieved the desired results and to make sure no complications occur. If complications arise, the follow-up visit will allow the dentist to address these problems promptly.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
Any patient who recently underwent a prosthodontic treatment should show up for his scheduled follow-up visit. This is a strongly recommended because the appointment can have a huge impact on the long-term results of the treatment that the patient went through. At the end of the visit, the dentist and the patient should both be assured that the treatment worked as planned, produced the desired results, and did not cause any complications.
Prosthodontics treatments and their subsequent follow-up visits can benefit people who have lost their natural teeth due to:
- Tooth decay
Additionally, they can also help patients who need reconstructive work due to:
- Genetic facial defects such as cleft palate
- Sleep disorder
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome
- Maxillofacial prosthetic care
- Oral cancer
To restore or replace lost or damaged teeth, prosthodontists offer patients with different options, such as:
- Dental crowns
- Full dentures
- Partial dentures
- Tooth bonding
- Dental implants
How the Procedure is Done?
A prosthodontist follow-up visit takes place at the dentist’s office or clinic and usually takes less than 30 minutes. It is usually scheduled around 1 to 2 weeks after the treatment plan has been completed. During the visit, the dentist:
- Checks the patient’s teeth for stability
- Checks the patient’s bite
- Assesses the results of the treatment
- Checks for signs of complications
- Measures bone loss
If there are no signs of complications, the prosthodontist will send the patient home with instructions on how to properly care for the treated teeth, what to avoid, and when to come back for regular checkups. This will help the patient maintain long-term oral health care following the procedure. The dentist may also take photos of the results for documentation and to compare the results with the photos taken prior to the treatment. It is also normal for some dentists to schedule a panoramic x-ray of the teeth around six months after a successful treatment.
If, however, there are problems with the teeth, the dentist will prescribe further treatment or make the necessary adjustments, the latter of which are commonly required by those who have dentures placed.
Possible Risks and Complications
During the prosthodontist follow-up, the dentist will check the patient for signs of possible complications and ask about any symptoms the patient may be experiencing. These include:
- Swelling of the jaw, gums, or face
- Throbbing pain
- Discharge or presence of pus
Since the most common risk patients are exposed to is infection, dentists normally prescribe antibiotics, especially if the patient has some medical problems that compromise his ability to fend off diseases.
To avoid complications following prosthodontics treatment, patients should choose their prosthodontist well. These dental professionals undergo not only four years of dental school but also three additional years of specialized training in prosthodontics.
- The American Prosthodontic Society