How Do I Find A Dental Implant Expert?
It is important to understand that dental implants are a significantly different treatment process than traditional crown and bridge, root canal therapy and fillings. The important difference stems from the fact that dental implants require both surgical and restorative expertise and often require extensive training beyond that of the traditional dental school programs.
Because there are no restrictions or specific qualifications for a licensed Dentist to place or restore dental implants, there are many variations in experience, ability, training and materials. Because of this it is often difficult to determine the expertise of any particular clinician. Below is a list of questions? a patient should consider prior to trusting their dental professional with the placement and restoration of their dental implants.
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 often 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 periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
Besides training, the second most important aspect in optimally placing dental implants is experience. An experienced dental implant surgeon should place numerous implants every month, and the only way to achieve this repetition is to devote much of your practice to this procedure. Periodontists are residency trained specialists in implant surgery and have a tremendous amount of experience placing implants. Because Periodontists have devoted a large portion of their time to the placement, maintenance and repair of dental implants, they have a unique insight when it comes to evaluating your specific conditions and providing the best guidance and care for your individual needs. Remember, when an implant fails it not only takes the tooth but the supporting bone as well. A poorly placed implant not only sets you back to the beginning but may result in the need for extensive reconstruction and costly additional surgeries.
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.