How Do I Find A Dental Implant Expert?
There is much a consumer must know before selecting the right dentist to perform their dental implant surgery. Always remember that you’re not just purchasing an implant, but the training of the surgeon and the expertise to properly place them. Periodontists are residency trained specialists in implant dentistry and provide the highest quality implant surgery treatment in the dental profession.
Questions to ask your implant surgeon
- Where did you receive your training?
- How much experience do you have placing implants?
A well trained implant surgeon will have received their training in a full time residency program devoted to dental surgery. Despite the fact that there are some very talented non-residency trained dentists that have perfected their technique to place implants, there is still no comparison to a residency trained specialist. Non-residency trained dentists receive very limited education, typically from weekend courses which usually don’t even offer “hands on” training. Implant surgery can be a complex procedure which often requires the expertise of a residency trained specialist especially when complications occur. Periodontists have spent an additional 2-3 years of training following the four years of dental school to become experts in implant surgery.
Adequate training is the first requirement. But to perfect the “art” of implant surgery, an implant surgeon must have a lot of experience, which can only come from performing implant surgery frequently and on a routine basis. Repetition is the key. And the only way to achieve the repetition is to devote your practice to this procedure. An experienced dental implant surgeon should place numerous implants every month. Periodontists are residency trained specialists in implant surgery and have a tremendous experience placing implants. Most non-residency trained dentists with weekend course training don’t even come close.
How not to select an implant surgeon:
- Don’t see the surgeon that advertises constantly. An excellent surgeon doesn’t need to advertise.
- Don’t pick the cheapest surgeon in town. They’ll only place a cheap implant.
- Don’t be a guinea pig for your general dentist. Complications can be serious, even life threatening.
The consequences of making a bad choice can be serious. The following pictures demonstrate the problems that can arise when implants are placed by inadequately trained surgeons or surgeons that lack adequate experience.
These implants were placed completely through the nerve canal leading to permanent numbness of the lips, cheeks and face due to improper diagnosis, and surgical error. The position of the nerve canal was misinterpreted by the treating general dentist.
A poorly placed implant can cause severe gum disease. Notice the red and inflamed gums on the left. The implant was placed completely through the bone (instead of within it) and almost into the nose. The treating general dentist failed to understand basic anatomy. Repair surgery was required in order to remove the implant as well as the adjacent teeth which were damaged from the poor fitting crowns.
This implant was misaligned and therefore damaged the root of the adjacent molar tooth which as a result, required root canal treatment. Due to the misalignment, the crown that was placed on the implant was nonfunctional and very unaesthetic, as seen on the right. After only 2 years in the mouth, due to the misalignment, the implant eventually fractured and had to be surgically removed.
These implants were placed without respect to the adjacent gum tissues. Although the implants are stable and healthy within the bone, they are not very esthetic.