Dentists for Dental Implants
Dental Implant Dentists
Dental implants specialists are dentists who offer a modern and effective solution for tooth replacement to patients who are missing one or more of their teeth. Unlike other dental procedures that can be performed by a single dentist, the dental implant placement procedures may require the involvement of more dental professionals.
Dentists for Dental Implants
Dental implants involve the co-ordinated efforts of (at least) the dental implant dentist who is the one who performs the surgical procedure of placing the implant in the jawbone, and the restorative dentist who will make the crowns, bridges or dentures that will be supported by the implant or implants.
In the United States, UK and other countries, there is no exclusive dental specialty for implants (implantology) such as periodontology or endodontics that are recognized dentist specialties in most of the world.
Some countries, although there is no specific dental specialty, have set restrictions on legal training requirements for dentists who perform dental implant procedures. In UK, the General Dental Council (GDC) has imposed recently (2008) strict training requirements for dentists involved in dental implantology. In United States any licensed dentist may perform dental implant procedures.
When choosing a dental implant dentist you will have several options. The vast majority of dental implants are placed by dental professionals of the following dentist specialties:
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the ones most commonly trained to qualify as dental implant dentists. Becoming an oral surgeon requires additional training of 4 - 6 years internship and residency (which includes maxillofacial surgery) after completing dental school. The oral surgeon's expertise is necessary for the proper planning of an implants treatment especially if the patient has jaw joint problems, bruxism or severe bone loss. The oral surgeon as a dental implant dentist will usually perform the surgical implant placement and refer the patient to a restorative dentist for the placement of the crown, bridge or denture.
Periodontists are also another popular option as your dental implant dentist. A periodontist will be your best choice in case dental implants are about to replace teeth lost due to periodontitis. Prior to placing the dental implant/s the periodontist will first treat the periodontal disease that could compromise the success of the implants procedure. Periodontists and oral surgeons perform most of the dental implant surgery (they count for about 70% of all dental implant placements), but some of them also perform the implant restoration (about 20% of all restorations).
Prosthodontists are another group of dental implants dentists. Although prosthodontists specialize in the restoration part of the dental implant procedure, some of them also choose to perform the dental implant surgery and the placing of the implants, while referring the more difficult cases to an oral surgeon. The advantage of having a prosthodontist as dental implant dentist is that you will have to deal with only one professional through the course of the treatment.
There are also many general dentists who have had advanced training in dental implants. If your regular dentist is qualified and your case is a simple one that your dentist feels confident about, you might not need to refer to another dental implant specialist.