Before deciding on a dental implant doctor, do your research. There are specific things to look for and questions to ask.
- Specifically ask if they are “board certified’ in a specialty that includes dental implants. Specialists with the proper training have taken additional years to learn the surgical skills necessary to perform implants. “Board certified” specialists have passed rigorous training and exams. Oral surgeons receive formal implant surgery training in accredited residency programs after dental school. The term “Implantologist” should be considered a “red flag” as it is not a recognized or accredited specialty and it does not insure proper training. Look for dentists who received implant training as part of pursuing a specialty degree in periodontics, prosthodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery at an accredited dental program.
- Ask how long they have been placing dental implants? There are no substitutes for experience and training.
- Ask how many dental implants the dentist has placed and how many they typically place annually? A skilled surgeon or specialist has placed hundreds of implants if not more. Implants should be a large part of what they do on a regular basis. If the dentist has only placed a small number of implants, be very certain about their qualifications before choosing them as your oral professional.
- Ask how many and the title of continuing education courses in dentistry, dental implants in particular, that the dentist has taken over the past two years? Dental implant procedures are continually advancing. You want a dentist who is dedicated to continually improving their skill and keeping abreast of advancements.
- Ask what is included in the initial exam and consultation? You want a specialist who looks into your overall general heath, checks into any medical conditions you may have, checks the health of you gums and quality and quantity of bone at the proposed implant site.
- Ask what brand of implants you dentist uses? Once you have the brand do some research and find out if it is a respected brand or a low cost copy.
- Ask to speak to other patients about their experience. Does the dentist have before and after pictures of other patients available?
- Ask for the names of any other dental specialists that the dentist may work or consult with. Chances are that the dentist has colleagues that they consult with at least from time to time. Ask if it is alright for you to contact them and ask about the implant procedure.