Choosing an implant dentist is one of the most important decisions in the steps to having an implant. This can make the difference between a successful treatment and a dental implant failure, which may happen some time later, if not done correctly.

Developing a sense of trust, confidence and rapport with an experienced caring clinician is paramount as treatment often takes a few months. These are the TOP 10 THINGS you should look for when searching to find an implant dentist…

1.Has The Doctor Received Additional University Training In Implant Dentistry? What Experience Do They Actually Have?

Implant Dentistry involves a surgical procedure involving significant skill, expertise and knowledge. As frightening as it may seem, many dentists today are taking one or two day courses on implants, working on plastic model jaws then starting on patients.

Would you feel comfortable seeing a dentist with that level of training? It is best to seek someone that has had further post-graduate training in implant dentistry, which means that they have attended and been examined in implant dentistry at a University level. They should be able to show you cases that are over ten years old that they have completed, and be able to offer patients to speak to you about their past treatment.

2.What Evaluation Is Required For Dental Implants?

A comprehensive evaluation requires both a medical and dental assessment. There are certain medical conditions that contraindicate with dental implants, while others may raise the risk of failure. A dental implant assessment requires an assessment of the teeth, gums, bite and aesthetic factors. Furthermore it involves a detailed analysis of the bone volume and quality, normally carried out with a CT scan. Most dentists would not have this technology within their practice. It is advisable to seek someone with this facility as this demonstrates they follow ‘best practice’ procedures.

3.Am I Too Young Or Too Old To Replace My Missing Teeth?

There is no age limit with dental implants, with some even in their nineties insisting on having fixed teeth as they may gag when wearing a plate, find dentures are loose frequently, or are against the thought of a removable denture. The youngest age of a patient to receive implants depends on if they are skeletally mature, which means when they stop growing at about 18 -19 years of age.

4.What Type Of Dental Implants Are Being Used?

There are hundreds of implant systems available for practitioners to use. It is very important to use only implants from the most reputable implant companies with a consistent, historically proven track record of successful osseointegration and results that you can depend on.

It is best to find a dentist that uses the Top 5 most researched implant companies. They include Nobel Biocare (SWE), Dentsply Implants (GER), 3i (USA), Zimmer Dental (USA), Straumann (SWZ).

Unfortunately, we are now seeing more and more patients that have implants that are copies, or with obsolete componentry that cannot be sought, or cannot be used in certain countries due to not passing adequate government standards.

5.Where Is The Laboratory Work Being Manufactured?

Many patients are unaware of where their crowns and other implant componentry are being made, with many being constructed overseas at a fraction of the cost. The old adage – ‘you pay for what you get’ is certainly true, and you have to remember that this is a medical device that is going into your body, and it is advisable to receive the best available devices.

Continue reading part 2 of this article here