Differences Between A Prosthodontist and A General Dentist

Before going headlong into this blog, it must be stated that there are excellent dentists within all practice concentrations.  Over the years, Craig W. Conrow DDS MS FACP has built strong relationships throughout the field of dentistry and collaborates with dentists of several specialities—including general dentists.  This post covers the chief differences between a prosthodontist and a general dentist in an effort to help patients make informed decisions regarding their oral health.  If you are seeking dental treatment and have further questions, you may contact us at (760) 389-5323. 

In General, What Is A General Dentist?

General dentists,  in short, are dentists that handles a wide range of dental services.  You can think of general dentists as you do your primary care physician.  A generalist is capable of treating nearly all of the typical dental issues that patients face.  General dentists learn their trade in dental school after acquiring their undergraduate degree.  Over a four-year period in dental school, dental students are awarded a DMD (doctor of dental medicine) or a DDS (doctor of dental surgery).  Both degrees are identical.

Pros of Prosthodontics

Dentists who specialize in the field of prosthodontics receive three years of additional training.  The training received delves deeper into the replacement and restoration of teeth.  This allows them to perform highly detailed dental procedures, at an exceptional level,  including:

  • Children born with cleft palate or missing teeth
  • Full mouth restoration of debilitated, missing or worn teeth
  • Complete and removable partial dentures
  • Complex care management involving multiple specialists
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Dental implants
  • Maxillofacial prosthetic procedures such as oral cancer reconstruction and continuing care
  • Replacing lost teeth
  • Snoring and sleep disorders
  • Special needs of geriatric patients
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome/disorder
  • Traumatic injuries


It is not uncommon for more complex cases involving any of the above procedures to be referred to prosthodontists.  Sometimes general dentists seek advice from prosthodontists for advanced treatment plans or send patients to them.  Prosthodontists are the experts you need when you want specialized care in restorative dentistry.

(760) 389-5323