To be an effective prosthodontic assistant, you need to be familiar with the following general information and basic skills. Your duties will include some of the following:
Assisting the dentist in prosthodontic procedures
Setting up prosthodontic instrument trays
Preparing material for prostliodontic procedures
Making diagnostic impressions and casts
Trimming dental casts
Fabricating mouth and bite guards and custom trays
Performing simple acrylic repairs
A prosthodontist is a dentist with specialized training in replacing missing teeth; however, many general dentists in your clinic will be able to provide prosthodontic care. Your prostliodontic assisting duties are very similar to those in other specialties. The primary differences are the types of treatment the dentist performs, the material you mix or manipulate, the instruments the dentist uses, and the coordination required with the dental laboratory personnel.
Prosthodontic dentistry deals with the substitution or replacement of oral structures. Prosthodontic dentistry can include anything from replacing one missing tooth to constructing a complexdesigned device to replace structures of the face such as eyes, ears, or a cleft palate. Prosthodontic treatment is concerned primarily with replacing missing teeth with some type of artificial substitute. Substitutes for natural teeth are called prosthodontic prostheses. Prosthodontic prostheses are either fixed permanently into the patient's mouth or removable.
A fixed prosthesis is any variety of replacements for a missing tooth or part of a tooth that a dentist cements in place and the patient cannot remove. Restorations, such as inlays, onlays, crowns, and fixed partial dentures fall into this category. A fixed prosthesis may be constructed entirely from a cast metal alloy, acrylic resin, or porcelain. Frequently, a fixed prosthesis is made of a combination of these materials. For example, a complete crown may have a metal substructure and a porcelain veneer (facing).
An inlay is a dental restoration that fits into a prepared cavity, and is held there by its precision fit and a cementing medium. Inlays are, for the most part, surrounded by intact tooth structures. For this reason, they are often called intracoronal restorations. The various forms of inlays are used primarily to restore Individual tooth contours and function. In the majority of cases, an inlay is not a suitable anchor casting (retainer) for a fixed partial denture. Inlays are usually cast in medium hard gold, but can be made of other materials (porcelain, resin).
There are five classes of inlays (class I, II, III, IV, and V) based on the location of the surfaces being restored. A more specific way of naming an inlay is to cite the tooth surfaces it restores; for example, MO (mesio-occlusal) inlay, or a MOD (mesio-occlusal- distal) inlay as shown in figure 8-1.
Onlays are cast gold, resin, or porcelain restorations that ordinarily cover the mesial, occlusal, and distal surfaces (MOD) of posterior teeth. Onlays differ from inlays in that an onlay covers the entire occlusal surface of a tooth to include the cusps. An onlay is the smallest of the fixed prosthetic restorations
Figure 8-1. - MOD inlay.Continue Reading