Dentist Atlanta: Need a Cosmetic Dentist?

See an ADA approved Prosthodontist.


If you are in need of tooth restoration, or if you are unhappy with the way your smile looks, your first inclination may be to head to a cosmetic dentist. While this may be a good idea, it may not be the best idea. Instead, it may be wiser to head to a prosthodontic dentist.

Many people have never heard of prosthodontic dentists. However, these dentists are highly regarded and certified by the American Dental Association (ADA). In fact, prosthodontics is one of only nine sub-specialties of dentistry that are recognized by the ADA…cosmetic dentistry is not one of the nine specialties. This means that dental schools instruct dentists in techniques, methods, and specialized training in prosthodontics—dental schools do not instruct dentists in cosmetic dentistry.

Prosthodontic dentists do learn about certain types of procedures that are used in cosmetic dentistry—this is why it may be a good bet to head to a prosthodontist if you are considering cosmetic dental procedures. What’s more, because prosthodontic dentists have received an additional three years of training post dental school, they are certain to understand how to perform these procedures correctly and safely.  Of the 170,000 dentists in the United States, less than 2% are trained prosthodontists.

During their extra three years of schooling, prosthodontic dentists study anatomy of the head, neck, and mouth as well as esthetics (the cosmetic part of performing procedures). These dentists learn about all of the various materials that are used in prosthodontics as well, becoming experts in the field. Quite often during this training period, these prosthodontic dentists are asked to help treat complicated cases. By working on patients whose mouth restorations are complex, prosthodontic dentists learn a great deal about planning and implementing various prostheses.  They are considered the quarterbacks of implant dentistry, among other complex types of dentistry.

Many prosthodontic dentists also help patients with maxillofacial procedures. Maxillofacial procedures are ones in which acquired and congenital defects are treated. These can be any defects of the head and neck due to trauma or injury, or they could be defects that were present at birth. However, in order to be licensed to practice maxillofacial procedures, a dentist must complete an additional year of training. This is an extra year after the three extra years required for becoming a prosthodontic dentist.


Regardless of whether a dentist decides to become a prosthodontist or if she decides to attend school for one more year to be able to perform maxillofacial procedures, any prosthodontist is going to be the right dentist for you to see for certain problems with the mouth. If, for example, you have missing teeth, it may be a good idea to find a prosthodontic dentist to help you. Or, if you need a restoration procedure to be done, try to locate a prosthodontic dentist.

Choose the right type of dentist for whom you are looking—in this case, prosthodontic dentist.


Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC, an Emory University trained prosthodontist.

The Right Smile Center

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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Dentist Atlanta: Should You See a Specialist? Probably Yes.

There are two types of dentistry today.  One is the traditional dentistry targeting the oral hygiene and prevention of oral diseases, tooth decay, etc., by diagnosis and routine oral treatment.  Its focus is maintenance oriented and percentage which is covered by insurance.  The other and most recent is cosmetic dentistry, aiming to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile.  And in some instances dental procedures are implemented to improve function, which may have the tertiary effect of improving your smile, i.e. an implant.  Thus, general oral diseases and related health issues are treated by general dental practitioners during the routine care of your oral health.  Whereas cosmetic dentistry should be handled by a dental specialist, whether it is a prosthodontist, orthodontist or an oral surgeon/periodontist in conjunction with a prosthodontist.   Cosmetic dentistry, while it is not a dental specialty, has risen to an art form in the field of dentistry.  When applied in conjunction with the restorative benefits of general dentistry like dental fillings which fall within the domain of general dentistry but crosses over into cosmetics when the materials of the restoration serve two purposes; the filling itself and the appearance of the filling.  Thus a composite dental filling is covered by cosmetic dentistry to retain your look and smile as usual, but avoids the unsightliness of an amalgam (mercury filling).

There are many dental clinics and general practitioners providing a myriad of cosmetic dentistry procedures.  Before opting for treatment, one needs to take care in selecting the right type of dentist with investigation that should include references, reviews, training and the skill set for the treatment as well as the particular procedure and protocol to be followed.  In metro cities like Atlanta one can find many dentists who purport to be trained (or have trained themselves) as cosmetic dentists, which happens to be a self-proclaimed non-existent specialty.  These dental clinics and practitioners are providing general dentistry as well as cosmetic dentistry that ranges from performing root canal treatment, periodontal treatment, children’s dentistry, teeth whitening, bleaching and advanced cosmetic dentistry such as the placing of implants.  Purported cosmetic dentists providing various cosmetic procedures as well as surgeries like full mouth rehabilitation, tooth laminates, tooth veneers, crowns, bridges, etc., can make a mess of your mouth if you’re not careful.

Little known, prosthodontic dentists are with the passage of time gaining popular recognition as patients become more familiar with the advances in dentistry and how they can enhance their everyday lives. They are expert dentists with a post graduate ADA recognized degree centered around a complete knowledge of dentistry, where function and beautification of teeth are combined in the final result — the right smile.  A comprehensive approach by a prosthodontist is the best way to ensure that you are receiving the competent and qualified dental care you need.

Dr. Scheinfeld received her prosthodontics degree from Emory University’s Prosthodontics program in 1988.  Of the more than 170,000 dentists in the United States less than 3,200 are degreed prosthodontists.   If the Right Smile Center can answer your questions or provide you with a complimentary consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Sandy Springs, GA 30328


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