Dental implants provide a strong, solid foundation and long-term solution for missing teeth.
When considering dental implants, it is important to find the right doctor who will ensure the procedure is performed safely and successfully.
What type of degree and expertise is required for dental implant doctors?
Implantology is a highly specialized field of dentistry that requires dental professionals to have comprehensive knowledge of anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, anesthesia, oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontics, laboratory techniques, radiology, and the use of medical imaging devices.
Implant dentists must have a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from an accredited dental school. In addition to this, they must obtain additional training in the field and complete their residency training in dental implant procedures, augmentation of the jaw bone, sinus lifts and other advanced procedures.
Choosing the right doctor to perform your dental implant placement is critical. Dr. Delwyn Dick (DDS) and Dr. Lamont Murdoch (DDS) in Coeur d’Alene, ID have over 25 years of experience in dental implants. They stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and technology through rigorous education courses and advanced training in order to ensure that their patients will receive top quality care and optimal results.
Who is better for dental implants- an oral surgeon or a periodontist?
The best-qualified dental specialist for this procedure are oral surgeons, periodontists, and prosthodontists. The decision of which of these should do your implants ultimately depends on the patient’s individual needs.
- Periodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gum tissue and other supporting structures of the teeth, such as periodontal disease. Apart from having the knowledge of placing implants, they are also skilled in the treatment of bone damage, or severe gum disease (before implants are placed), as well as treating issues that may arise afterward such as gum inflammation or infection.
- Prosthodontists specialize in restoring natural teeth and creating artificial replacements with dental implants, traditional dentures, crowns, dental bridges, veneers and other prostheses that can be used to restore a person’s ability to chew and speak. They also specialize in smile makeovers, which involve a variety of cosmetic treatments to enhance the appearance of a person’s smile.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and defects that affect the head, neck, face, jaws and associated structures. They are experts in tooth extraction procedures, oral pathology, jaw reconstruction, dental implant placement, and radiography. Unlike other dentists, an oral surgeon will spend an additional four to six years pursuing extensive training in hospital-based surgery. They may be the best choice for implant treatments that involve more complex surgeries or those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Questions to ask your dental implant dentist
Finding the right person to perform your implant surgery is an important decision and one that should not be taken lightly.
We encourage you to ask your dentist as many questions as you have with respect to your oral health and implants, including inquiring about the dentist’s experience in the field and how many procedures they perform each year.
Common questions about implants
- How safe are dental implants?
Implants are safe for people who are in good health. They’re made from titanium or zirconia, both of which are non-toxic materials that adapt well to the body. They not only help to preserve the strength of the jawbone, but also provide a stronger and more secure foundation than removable dentures or bridges.
- Do dental implants have a high success rate?
Yes, they have an overall success rate of 95-98%! The success rate of dental implants is highly dependent on the skill and experience of the dental surgeon performing the implant placement, as well as the quality of care taken by the patient during and after treatment.
- What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are more than just aesthetically pleasing – they provide a whole host of health benefits as well. They look, feel and function just like natural teeth. Not only do implants restore full chewing power and make it easier to eat the foods you enjoy, but they can also help prevent bone loss in the jaw that often accompanies tooth loss. Dental implants are also more stable and permanent than other tooth replacement options. They are highly durable and can last a lifetime with proper care. Click here to learn about all the benefits of implants.
- How long will the entire implant process take, from start to finish?
It takes the majority of patients several weeks to months.
- What is the dental implant placement procedure?
The procedure can be broken down into four steps.
1. The consultation, evaluation, and preparation. The implant dentist will first assess the patient’s overall health and check if they have enough bone density in the jaw. Based on those results, the patient will receive a customized treatment plan.
2. Root placement. The dentist will prepare the implant site by extracting the existing tooth (if applicable) and place the titanium post in its place. During the next few weeks or months, the titanium post will fuse to the jawbone through a healing process called osseointegration.
3. Abutment placement: The dentist will place a connector piece above the implant. This will later connect the implant with the crown. Mouth impressions will be taken and the patient will receive a temporary crown.
4. Crown placement: The patient will return for their final appointment in which the permanent crown will be placed over the implant.
Click here to learn more about the implant procedure.
- Will my dental implants look real?
Dental implants are custom-made to blend seamlessly with your other teeth, so you can rest assured your new smile will look just as natural as the rest of your mouth.
- How long does swelling last after dental implants?
Although 90% of our patients experience very little swelling or discomfort, some can experience bruising or sensitivity for about a week.
- What makes a good candidate for dental implants?
Implants are an ideal choice for people who have lost one or more teeth due to injury, disease or decay. Ideal candidates are those who have healthy gums and enough jawbone density to support the implant. The patient must also commit to having good oral hygiene as proper maintenance of the implants is critical for their success. After the initial consultation, a dental implant specialist will be able to determine if the patient is a good candidate for this type of treatment.
Our dental team at Kootenai Dental Group works with each patient on a case-by-case basis to ensure that their specific needs are met, and that they are satisfied and well-informed throughout every step of the dental implant procedure.
In any case, we understand that it may be a bit nerve-wracking and new to many people, which is why we will be happy to discuss any of your concerns and put your mind at ease.
Call 208-623-7207 to schedule your free dental implants consultation today!