Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine is marking National Prosthodontics Awareness Week (NPAW), which runs April 3-9, with activities to further engage Penn Dental students in exploring the unique opportunities within this dental specialty, while also building public awareness of the role a prosthodontist plays on the dental care team. The student-run Penn Prosthodontics Club and the Department of Preventive & Restorative Sciences are leading the week’s awareness efforts.
“Prosthodontics is the area of dentistry that focuses on dental prosthetics,” says Dr. Eva Anadioti, Assistant Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry at Penn Dental Medicine and a board-certified prosthodontist. “A prosthodontist has advanced training in oral health issues and in providing options for replacing missing or fixing damaged teeth.”
The type of cases managed by a prosthodontist can vary widely. Dr. Anadioti explains that prosthodontics includes crowns, bridges, complete and partial dentures, and dental implants as well as occlusion and esthetics (veneers, whitening, and other cosmetic options) issues. Prosthodontists also help to address dental needs caused by facial and dental birth defects. In addition, they are trained in the technological aspects of laboratory fabrication of dental prosthetics and the complex restoration of dental esthetics.
“Prosthodontists are trained to rehabilitate patients with complex restorative needs. They play an important role in the long history of clinical excellence and interdisciplinary, comprehensive dental care Penn Dental Medicine is known for around the world,” adds Dr. Markus B. Blatz, Professor and Chair of Preventive & Restorative Sciences at Penn Dental Medicine, who is also board certified by the German Board of Prosthodontics and an honorary member of the American College of Prosthodontists. “It is wonderful to see so much interest in this ever-evolving specialty and exciting for us to participate in celebrating National Prosthodontics Awareness Week”
The Penn Prosthodontics Club brings together dental students with an interest in the specialty throughout the year, and the key event they have planned as part of NPAW will be an information session on the field with Dr. Anadioti on April 7, 5:30 – 6:45 pm at Penn Dental Medicine. It will be followed by a networking event with other area prosthodontists from 7 – 9 pm at Harvest Seasonal Grill (200 S. 40th St. Philadelphia). Register online for the event »
“The future of dentistry is here, and prosthodontics is poised to be among the specialties leading the way,” says Dr. Anadioti. “The specialty is constantly evolving with new technologies and materials, which are enhancing esthetics and treatment options. Digital dentistry is already transforming patients’ dental experience.”
Penn Dental Medicine’s CAD/CAM (computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing) Center specializes in creating highly esthetic prosthetic restorations in its state-of-the-art ceramic laboratory, supporting cases within the School’s teaching clinics as well as the Penn Dental Family Practice. Dr. Anadioti is a member of the Digital Dentistry Curriculum Initiative supported by a new partnership between Henry Schein, Inc. and the American College of Prosthodontists Education Foundation to develop a new curriculum that incorporates CAD/CAM technology into the national and international dental schools’ curriculum.
“From repairing a single tooth to rebuilding an entire smile, prosthodontists help improve patients’ oral health and quality of life,” adds Dr. Anadioti. “Patients may also seek a prosthodontist to restore teeth affected by disease or eating disorders such as bulimia, or damage due to drug abuse. It is a field that offers clinicians many rewards in helping patients.”
Prosthodontics is one of only nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). The American College of Prosthodontists, with nearly 3,800 members, is the ADA-recognized professional association of prosthodontists and related dental professionals and the sponsor of NPAW.
In August 2015, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the ADA passed new standards for Advanced Education Programs in Prosthodontics. These new Standards recognize digital dentistry and competence in the restoration and surgical placement of dental implants as an integral part of specialty education in prosthodontics. “This is only to validate that now is the best timing for dental students to pursue a career in prosthodontics,”comments Dr. Anadioti.
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