Aesthetic dentists are general dentists who have attended cosmetic dentistry seminars and courses, while prosthodontists are specialists recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) who have obtained a graduate certificate in prosthodontics after three additional years of university education. A cosmetic dentist is a general dentist with extra training to achieve better cosmetic results for patients. This training can often be completed in a few weeks or months. The most important difference between a prosthodontist and a cosmetic dentist is where they received their training.
Prosthodontists receive additional education beyond dental school to become experts in restoring teeth that have been damaged by injury or illness. They specialize in complex dental restoration when several lost or damaged teeth are replaced or cared for, and are one of 12 dental specialties recognized by the ADA. Prosthodontists are at the forefront of new technologies and are considered pioneers in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Today, with the help of a prosthodontist, you have many options to improve your quality of life with a better smile.
In short, prosthodontists are highly specialized aesthetic dentists with professional training in restorative dental procedures. Another important difference between the two is that only prosthodontists have the experience needed to treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, while cosmetic dentists won't be able to help you with this problem. When considering dental treatment, it's important to know when it's appropriate to seek treatment beyond your general dentist and seek out a prosthodontist. While some procedures overlap, others are almost exclusively performed by a prosthodontist or cosmetic dentist.
In addition to being trained in restorative dental treatments, prosthodontists are more educated in dental biomaterials, ceramics and an understanding of color and how it affects aesthetics.