What to know when getting dental implants
Is your implant dentist a licensed and trained oral surgeon?
While any dentist with a dental degree can legally place a dental implant, many general dentists do not have the specialized training, experience, and equipment to properly prepare the implant area and place a dental implant with the skill necessary to ensure the highest chance of long-term success. For that reason, patients are often referred to an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon has completed an additional 4-6 years of surgical training beyond dental school, ensuring the highest level of competency in addressing complex dental problems and the placement of dental implants.
How long has your implant dentist been placing dental implants?
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Implant technology has changed drastically over the last few decades. As techniques and technologies have advanced, the need for current, specialized training and a drive to stay abreast of cutting-edge methods and materials has become increasingly important. On the other side of the coin, the successful placement of implants requires years of training and extensive hands-on experience. Make sure you choose an implant specialist that has both extensive experience placing implants and modern, cutting-edge equipment and education.
How often does your implant specialist place dental implants?
The ability to handle complex implant procedures comes not only with training, but with experience. There is no substitute for handling a large number of patients and addressing a variety of conditions. There is a significant difference between an implant dentist who places a few implants a year, and one who places hundreds. Make sure your implant specialist has significant on-going experience with a variety of cases.
What quality is the implant itself?
There are quite a few implant systems available on today’s market. Unfortunately, many of these implants are cheap “knock-offs” that are of sub-par quality. No matter how good the placement of the implant is, if the materials used fail prematurely, the procedure will be unsuccessful. It is important that your implant be supplied by a reputable company that has a consistent track record of the highest quality materials, designs, availability of parts, and customer service.
Does your surgeon have experience managing complications?
The condition of the patient’s bone and tissue, as well as their oral health history and general overall health, all contribute to the implant’s chances of success. Because of the myriad variables in the implant process, complications are bound to arise with some patients. If you experience complications with your procedure, you want your implant specialist to have extensive knowledge and experience in handling tricky situations.
Does your implant specialist have significant investment and training in the latest technology?
Advanced, modern technologies offer faster, more accurate diagnosis, and also ensure a smoother, more effective course of treatment. Machines such as the Cone Beam CT allows the surgeon to view a high-resolution, 3D image of the patient’s jaw and tissue before surgery even begins. Use of a Cone Beam CT also allows for Guided Implant Placement, a computer-aided surgical method that provides the highest level of predictability and safety.
Does your implant specialist have excellent testimonials from previous clients?
Anyone can show you a brochure or tell you about what they do, but the real proof is in their history of successful implant procedures. Make sure your oral surgeon has plenty of testimonials from satisfied patients. You can usually find these on their website or on public review websites such as Yelp.
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