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Why Choose an Oral Surgeon for Your Dental implants

Aug 09, 2022

Missing teeth are one of the most common dental issues for adults in the United States- and dental implants are quickly becoming the most common treatment. After all, once everything is in place, you won’t even be able to tell that you were missing teeth at all. They are designed to look just like your natural teeth.

Many people choose to go to their general dentist. However, due to the length of time, it takes to have dental implants placed and the cost of dental implant therapy, it’s only natural that you would want someone with the experience and qualifications to install your dental implants.

In this article, we’ll explain the different dental specialists that can do dental implants and the reasons why you should choose a specialist over a general dentist.

Are all Dentists Capable of Placing Dental Implants?

Technically, any type of dentist can be trained in how to place dental implants. After all, dental implants combine several different aspects of dentistry into one single mode of treatment. Typically, there are two broad phases involved in getting dental implants:

Step One: Surgical Phase

The first step of getting dental implants is known as the surgical phase. This is when the implants are placed into the jawbone. You may also require extractions as well. Oral surgeons and periodontists are best trained for this step of dental implant treatment.

Step Two: Prosthetic Phase

The second step of getting dental implants is the prosthetic phase. This is when the prosthetic bridge or crown is attached to the implant. An abutment will be placed on the implant and then the bridge/crown will be attached to that. A restorative dentist or a prosthodontist are more equipped to deal with this phase of dental implant treatment.

If you have any discrepancies during either phase, it could cause sub-par functioning and aesthetics. Sometimes, discrepancies can result in implant failure. If this happens, the implant must be removed.

Therefore, it’s always best to choose a specialist, such as an oral surgeon, that is qualified and has a good setup. They will typically have the necessary equipment, be managed well, and properly sterilize and disinfect their tools, environment, etc.

Which Dental Professionals Can Perform Dental Implants?

While we did briefly mention them above, we’ll take a closer look at the dental professionals that are equipped to handle dental implant surgery below:

Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon is the best option for the surgical phase of dental implants. They are trained in the anatomy of your jawbone, so they have the expertise in the best placement for the implants. Also, if you have excessive bleeding, an oral surgeon is best equipped to handle it.

If there is not enough bone available in your jaw to place an implant, they will be able to do additional procedures such as a sinus lift, bone graft, or ridge split to make it possible to place the implant. The rate of success is fairly high when an oral surgeon conducts these procedures- but other dental professionals find them tricky.

Periodontists

A periodontist is a dental surgeon that has undergone additional training in gums and supporting structures. They specialize in gum surgeries and dental bone grafts. Like oral surgeons, they are better equipped than a general dentist to place dental implants and can deal with post-implant care and failing implants.

Prosthodontists

A prosthodontist is a dental surgeon specializing in tooth restoration procedures. They are trained in replacing missing teeth to find the ideal balance between aesthetics and function.

In some cases, if a discrepancy occurred during the placement of the implant or the angle of the screw isn’t right, the prosthodontist can create a prosthesis that can deal with the discrepancy without having to remove the implant. The implant may fail if the occlusal load is not properly distributed by the prosthesis. Therefore, the placement of the prosthesis is just as important, if not more, as the placement of the implant.

General Dentists

Typically, general dentists are not equipped to place dental implants- but they are the ones that you will see first to be referred to a specialist that can.

A general dentist typically deals with procedures such as:

They are not equipped for surgical procedures unless they have been specifically trained. They may be able to provide basic dental implants under the guidance of an oral surgeon.

Cosmetic Dentists

A cosmetic dentist specializes in “smile design”. They are more focused on the aesthetics of your smile. Due to the high visibility of the front jaw (upper and lower), they are recommended for implants placed in those locations. Some do these procedures themselves, while others work under the guidance of an oral surgeon.

Why Choose an Oral Surgeon for Dental Implants?

As you can see, you have several different types of dentists to choose from when it comes to dental implant surgery. However, it’s important to note that not every dentist is successful. If you are thinking about dental implants, you want to find a dental professional that has experience and expertise. Here’s why it’s best to choose an oral surgeon over a general dentist:  

Specialization

First of all, there are only a few general dentists that have been through the training for placing dental implants. The reason you want to get implants is to restore your smile and increase your confidence. Therefore, you want to make sure to choose an oral surgeon that specializes in dental implants.

Experience

Dental implants surgery is complex and delicate. Plus, there’s more to it than simply placing the implants. For example, patients who have soft bone may need bone graft surgery prior to implant placement. An oral surgeon is always prepared for this possibility, whereas a general dentist may not be.

Oral surgeons perform dental implant surgery much more often than a general dentist and because of this, they are able to ensure a better outcome, no matter how complicated your situation might be.

Top-Tier Amenities

An oral surgeon has the necessary equipment to complete even the most complex dental implant procedure.. Since they have the tools/equipment, they can safely perform the surgery, which means you can relax. After all, since they have the latest tech for placing dental implants, you can be sure that you are in good hands.  

Emergency Care

Sometimes, things simply don’t go as planned. Some patients may experience complications during or after treatment that only a qualified oral surgeon can handle. They can help you understand how to take care of your implants so that you can avoid losing them. Approximately 95% of dental implants are successful- but there is that 5% that do have complications that may lead to failure. Your risk is decreased when you choose an oral surgeon.

Predictable Results

Since they have the experience and expertise, an oral surgeon can provide predictable results. Many patients have concerns when it comes to dental implants, such as diminished bone density and nerve positioning. However, an oral surgeon can handle these concerns and avoid these complications, increasing your chance of success.

Conclusion

If you are considering dental implants for your tooth loss, you should consider choosing an oral surgeon to ensure that you’re getting the care you need.

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