CHICAGO — The American College of Prosthodontists will celebrate National Prosthodontics Awareness Week (NPAW) from April 7-13. Now in its fourth year, the weeklong celebration seeks to raise public awareness about proper oral health.
"As a prosthodontist, I'm concerned that more than 178 million Americans are missing one or more teeth and 33 million are without any teeth," said New York City-based prosthodontist, Lawrence E. Brecht, DDS, 2013 NPAW co-chair.
"Increased awareness about proper dental care is critical for people of all ages," said Avinash S. Bidra, BDS, MS, FACP, NPAW co-chair. "As a prosthodontist, I bring back an esthetic smile, the ability to chew, and a chance to speak clearly."
During NPAW, the American College of Prosthodontists is proud to be a sponsor of the Ad Council's first oral health campaign in its 70-year history. From digital dentistry advances that reduce a patient's time in a dental chair, to restorations and treatment options for oral health issues, prosthodontists worldwide are committed to improving patient outcomes long after NPAW.
RELATED ARTICLE: Prosthodontics Week 2012
Before and after photos below:
In Oklahoma City, oral cancer survivor Sylvia sought the services of a local prosthodontist after oral cancer left her with no roof of her mouth. "I could hardly do anything without a roof of my mouth. I couldn't eat. I couldn't speak or swallow," said Sylvia.
Luckily, she consulted with local prosthodontist Lars Bouma, DDS, MS, FACP. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Bouma is a specialized dentist with advanced training in oral health, who came up with a progressive solution – he designed a device that replaced the roof of her mouth (an obturator) that permits Sylvia to speak, chew, drink a glass of water, and most important of all, smile with her grandkids.
"Today, people can't believe how great my mouth is," said a smiling Sylvia.
Ronnie's teeth decayed for six years after drinking too many sugar-laden sports drinks, sucking on lemons and citrus foods, and brushing too vigorously immediately after eating. So she flew to Los Angeles from Hawaii to seek the care of prosthodontist Hugh Wang, DDS, MS, FACP, and now has a beautiful smile.
"I wish I knew what a prosthodontist was earlier. Finding out about prosthodontists changed my life," said Ronnie, a computer executive who recommends patients go to a prosthodontist first if they experience tooth decay. "Patients need to know that specialists like prosthodontists exist, and seek out the specialty that is recognized by the American Dental Association."
Is your cosmetic dentist a prosthodontist? Ask.
"I wanted implants to replace my crowns, and I had a cracked tooth on the bottom when I finally found a prosthodontist," said Deanna. "I'm thrilled as I can now go into my 50s without having to do anything about my teeth." Deanna worked with prosthodontist Jean C. Wu, DDS, in Newport Beach to beautify her smile using new digital dentistry techniques such as digital shade matching, evaluating her bite, and using stronger, beautiful porcelain to produce more natural appearing teeth.
Prosthodontists nationwide and globally will be hosting free events including oral health screenings, lectures, community service outreach, and other activities geared toward the public and patients.
"Like medicine, dentistry has become more highly specialized," said Dr. Bidra. "Prosthodontists are specialized dentists with advanced training in implants, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry, and they are committed to improving patient treatment outcomes."
Prosthodontists are proficient in comprehensive oral health diagnosis, treatment planning and oral reconstruction. Someone may be missing one or more teeth or may be interested in dental implants while someone else may wear dentures or may want to improve the appearance of his or her smile. Simply put, a prosthodontist has the skills and training to restore optimal appearance and function to your smile in the toughest of situations.
For more information about NPAW, visit GoToAPro.org/NPAW.