Dental implants are not only an investment in your health and wellbeing but also a considerable investment in time, as the process of getting dental implants can be quite lengthy. Additionally, the cost of dental implants, depending on your individual treatment needs, must also be carefully considered. For this reason, selecting the right dentist to work with throughout the process of getting dental implants is essential and can mean the difference between a perfect treatment outcome and less desirable results.
What Are Dental Implants?
A permanent tooth-replacement treatment option, dental implants are basically prosthetic teeth that resemble a natural tooth’s structures, form, and function. Three parts comprise a dental implant: an anchor, an abutment, and a dental crown.
The anchor is a screw-like apparatus made of biocompatible metal that is implanted into the patient’s jawbone. The anchor osseointegrated (fuses) with the patient’s bone and holds the prosthetic tooth in place. The abutment attaches to the anchor and is designed to fit snugly inside the dental crown which is the visible portion of the dental implant that replaces the tooth.
Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Dentist for Dental Implants
Getting a dental implant is more complicated than getting a dental filling or a root canal procedure; the dental implant process can be lengthy and complex, and it’s essential that you choose a dentist who is experienced in evaluating patients for dental implants, performing bone grafting procedures (if necessary), performing implant placement surgery, and assessing the patient’s recovery.
Working with the right provider throughout this process ensures continuity of care, the knowledge of experience and training, positive treatment outcomes, and a good investment of your time and money.
So, how do you choose the right dental treatment provider for your dental implants? What qualities or certifications should you look for? What factors should you consider?
6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dentist for Dental Implants
1. Full-Service Dental Implant Provider
The dental implant process is complex, can take months to complete, and involves several steps such as:
- The initial consultation, diagnostic imaging, examination, and patient evaluation
- Bone grafting and recovery
- Implant placement and recovery
- Abutment placement and recovery
- Dental crown design and manufacturing
- Placement of the permanent dental crown
- Ongoing care and maintenance
When working with a full-service dental implant provider, you’ll enjoy continuity of care and much more desirable results. Plus, working with a single provider throughout the process is way more convenient for patients since you do not have to worry about the transfer of your patient records between offices or work to facilitate the communication between your separate dental care providers during the process. Instead, you’ll receive treatment in a single office with a single provider and the dental care support staff with which you are already familiar.
2. Qualifications and Continuing Education
Not every dentist is qualified to place dental implants. Dentists who can place dental implants are also oral surgeons, which requires extensive training and education. Look for a board-certified prosthodontist or a dentist with specialized training in implant dentistry.
It’s also important to select an oral surgeon who participates in continuing education to ensure you have the most positive patient experience possible today. Continuing education and training ensures you receive the most advanced care using the best treatment technology available.
3. Years of Experience
As with anything, practice makes perfect. Ask about your dental implant provider’s years of experience and the number of patients who have been treated successfully. You’re more likely to receive high-quality care from a provider with a positive track record and lots of experience than you are from a provider who has just completed their schooling.
4. Patient Reviews
Before choosing a provider, take a look at their patient reviews and testimonials to learn more about the positive and negative aspects of receiving treatment from them. You’ll learn invaluable details about the care and office environment different dentists provide from other patients who have already experienced it.
5. Sedation Dentistry Options
When undergoing a fairly invasive dental procedure, it is important to ask about the sedation dentistry options available to you and talk with your dentist about which options might be best for you. Additionally, you can find out whether any other steps are taken to ensure your comfort before, during, and after your treatment.
6. Insurance and Payment Options
Although no one really likes to think about money, it’s an important factor to consider when choosing an oral surgeon for an implant placement procedure. Choose a provider that accepts your dental insurance policy and ask whether they offer any financing or other payment options if needed.
Northern Colorado’s Dental Implant Specialist
As a board-certified prosthodontist specializing in dental implants and prosthetic dentistry, Dr. Andrew Bock is highly trained, educated, and experienced in working with patients throughout the entire dental implant process and procedure – from consultation and preparation to the placement of the final crown, bridge, or denture.
To always ensure patients receive the best care available, to continue learning, and to stay abreast of the latest advancements in the industry, Dr. Bock is a member of the American College of Prosthodontists, the Academy of Osseointegration, the American Dental Association, the Colorado Dental Association, and the Larimer County Dental Society.
If you are missing one or more teeth and think that dental implants, an implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported dentures are the right tooth-replacement option for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bock at Northern Colorado Implant & Prosthetic Dentistry today.