If you are experiencing tooth decay, gum disease, or injuries to your teeth, it is typically in your best interest to work with your dentist to save your teeth. However when it is not possible to do so, or if you are already missing teeth, dental implants may be the next most natural solution. Dental implants can help restore your smile and self-confidence, and they can even help protect the neighboring natural teeth by improving your chewing function.
Dental implants can be a physically and financially involved process. They are investments in your oral health and appearance. How do you choose the best dental implant surgeon for your needs to protect that investment?
Who can perform dental implant surgery?
In most states, any dentist is legally allowed to perform most types of dental surgery. After all, the letters “DDS” after your dentist’s name mean “Doctor of Dental Surgery.” However, most general practice and family dentists will refer their patients to Periodontists or dental surgeons for dental implants. Therefore, it is also important to find a specialist who will work as a partner with your dentist, so that together they can provide you with the best care possible.
What are 5 key qualities to look for in an implant surgeon?
Training and Education
Post-graduate degrees beyond the DDS degree as well as further education in specialist fields, like Periodontics and dental surgery, are available for individuals who want to enhance their skills. These degrees and specializations go into far more depth on gum health, implantation and improving long-term outcomes.
While education and training are important, practice and experience gives the implant specialist hands-on knowledge of what techniques and procedures work for each patient’s particular situation. Patients should look for a balance between the number of procedures completed and how the prospective provider is keeping up with the state-of-the-art technology and techniques. Knowledge and well-honed skills are both vital to improving outcomes in surgery. Are they the go-to provider for referrals in the area? Are they considered a respected part of the specialist industry in their area?
A dental implant specialist should not be too enthusiastic to use dental implants as a fix-all for oral health problems. Since implants do have some risks, dentists and periodontists should have strongly considered and researched every option to heal the gums and correct the natural teeth before moving onto implant surgery.
Personality and Care
The dental implant process can take multiple visits between diagnosis, planning, surgery and post-operative check-ups. You will need to feel comfortable with your implant specialist and staff so that you can freely ask questions about your care and reduce the stress that you may experience. Feeling comfortable and confident in your specialist will make all the difference as you go through this process
Insurance and Financial Considerations
Dr. Alger and his staff will be certain to inform you of the cost of your treatment and to give you multiple payment options. If you have dental insurance, they will do the best that they can to see that your benefits are utilized. Some patients think that they should not seek treatment with Dr. Alger if he is not a preferred provider with their dental insurance. They are surprised to learn that due to Dr. Alger’s conservative treatment planning and fee schedule, that their treatment costs are typically very reasonable when compared to other alternatives.
How do you choose the best implant specialist?
You should look up your initial list of potential provider’s credentials, education and experience online from a reputable source. When you have narrowed down your list based on the key qualities of each specialist, it would be wise to make appointments to visit the offices of your top choices for a consultation. During a consult appointment, you will get a feel for the provider and their staff’s personality, philosophy and practices. Only when you know you have the right fit among all the key qualities should you move forward with the procedure.
Why is choosing the best specialist for you so important?
Dental implants are an investment in your oral and overall health and well-being. Although there are risks and complications associated with any surgical procedure, there are ways in which you can minimize these risks. Dr. Alger and his staff have the training, experience and motivation for excellence, which makes their team a great fit for patients that are candidates for dental implants. To learn more about your dental implant options, please contact Dr. Alger’s office today.