If you're unfamiliar with prosthodontics, the primary thing you should know is that it is a specialty focusing on those patients who have lost teeth or are in need of advanced care for oral health damage. If your dentist has referred you to a doctor in this field, it is because your problem is beyond his level of expertise. This is nothing to fear. While your problem may be advanced, that does not mean it is without a solution. Take comfort in the fact that medical and dental science has come a long way in the last twenty years. There are procedures and options available to you now that will blow your mind.
A dentist specializing in prosthodontics will be an expert in a number of procedures related to bringing your teeth into proper care. These include crowns, veneers, dentures, dental implants, and more. While some of these procedures will of course overlap with the duties of your regular dentist, others may beyond their scope. In any event, you're often better entrusting your oral health procedures to someone who is educated, experienced, and steeped in performing them on a daily basis.
When the uninitiated patient looks at the procedures performed under the prosthodontics specialty, they may wonder what separates a dentist in this specialty from someone operating under the banner of cosmetic dentistry. In some cases, this is a good question. What's important here is to separate medical science from layman phrases used for marketing purposes. Cosmetic dentistry is not an officially recognized specialty. You can not go to school to become a "cosmetic dentist". Certainly, anyone with the education in prosthodontics would make a fine cosmetic dentist. But many dentists in this specialty are more immediately concerned with treating a patient's health.
Some patients grow fretful when they are passed from specialist to specialist in an attempt to complete treatment. This is understandable. People get familiar with one doctor or dentist and want them to perform all of their treatment. This is not always the case of someone who specializes in prosthodontics, however. Some will sincerely prescribe a treatment plan and will then refer you to other surgeons and dentists who can carry out the specific procedures. Others will see you through to the very end. Do not get discouraged or frustrated with this method of treatment, as it is designed to give you the very best care at every turn. Still, if you would prefer to have a single individual do all of your work, make sure you ask about this process when evaluating your dentist.