Choosing the Right Dentist

Successful implant dentistry requires the collaboration of two experts in their own fields: specialized surgeon placing the dental implants and a restorative dentist placing the crowns, bridge, or dentures on them.
Rarely, one can achieve true mastery of both fields.

Team Approach for Success:

Dental implant therapy requires expertise and knowledge in two different areas: The surgical placement of dental implants and restoration with an appropriate crown, bridge, or overdenture. Each discipline requires extensive formal training (residency programs) and education. It is for this reason that successful treatment requires a team of dentists working together and in close collaboration. This team consists of a surgeon placing the dental implant and a restoring dentist who will make the prosthetic aspect of it.

Choosing the Right Implant Surgeon:

Dental implant surgery is a highly skilled discipline, best performed by specialized surgeons who are properly trained and perform this procedure daily. Oral surgeons and periodontists are the only two recognized dental specialties that can perform surgical placement of dental implants. Success of implants requires special attention to how teeth are extracted, preservation or augmentation of the underlying jaw bone, development of proper gum tissue profile, precision implant placement and the use of well researched implants with specific features and characteristics.

Choosing the Right Restorative Dentist:

The prosthetic aspect (crown, bridge, or dentures) is performed by your restorative dentist who may be a general dentist or a prosthodontist, a specialist trained in more complex aesthetic and reconstructive restorative dentistry. Other specialists may be involved in your overall treatment as well, including an endodontist (root canal specialist) or orthodontist to assist the restorative dentist in reaching your treatment goals.
Need a dentist? Ask us and we’ll be delighted to refer you to one of our trusted colleagues.

Choosing the Right Team:

Close collaboration and communication between all the dentists involved in your care is critical to your ultimate success. There must be a common goal, strategy, and plan that meet your goals and have been discussed in detail. Poor results and complications often result when the surgeon and your dentist don’t communicate.

Researching to Find the Right Dentists:

When doing research to choose your dental implant team, ask the following key questions to help you make an engaged decision about your treatment and ultimately your oral health:

    1. What is your specialty? Only oral surgeons and periodontists receive formal implant surgery training in accredited residency programs; some prosthodontists may also have advanced surgical training, but this is less common. Caution: An “Implantologist” is not a recognized and accredited specialty nor does it indicate proper training.
    2. What is the extent of your training in implant surgery? Ask specifically the names of the courses, dates, durations, and who sponsored them. Search these courses and see if they are legitimate programs endorsed or supported by professional associations.
    3. How many dental implants have you placed? A specialist or any skilled surgeon has placed hundreds if not thousands of implants. They do these procedures day in and day out. Question their qualifications if they have only placed a few of them in the past few months or year!!!
    4. Do you work with any specialists? Even if a dentist places some dental implants, they almost always work with specialists in their area. Ask if it’s OK for you to speak with them and get a different perspective. It’s your right.
    5. Ask to speak to other patients about their experience. Personal testimonials are very valuable and meaningful.
    6. Ask the assistants and receptionists about dental implants (how they work, how long it takes, what are the steps, etc); If they cannot answer your questions or refer you constantly to the dentist, then that practice most likely does not perform many of them!
    7. Ask for brochures, supporting articles, before and after photos, and other detailed information. A practice with a focus on dental implants will have all of these readily available. No need to look for it!!!

If you hear or observe the following, be cautious

  • “This is an easy one, I can handle it”………It almost never is…that simple!
  • Dental implant sales person in the office during your treatment! You can guess why they are there!!!
  • ‘The lone star’……A dentist who seems to know everything and do everything!!!

Have you been given treatment recommendations but you are just not sure if it is right or the best approach?
Contact Dr. Kazemi for a complimentary second opinion.
Just send an online inquiry with available X-rays, photos, or the recommended treatments and he’ll evaluate them for you.