There are around 500,000 people choosing to receive dental implants on an annual basis. This popular procedure is the best way to replace missing teeth and several providers offer this solution. However, people may not know the facts of dental implants and avoid seeking treatment.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, http://www.aaid.com/about/Press_Room/Dental_Implants_FAQ.html
- Over 35 million Americans are missing a large portion of their teeth
- Crowns and bridges have replaced teeth in over 15 million people
- Over 3 million people have dental implants and they are becoming more popular, at a rate of around 500,000 procedures a year
- The success rate for dental implants is 98.4 percent
Providers who place dental implants
#1. General dentist
More general dentists are choosing to replace teeth using dental implants. A general dentist is someone who typically focuses on providing preventative care and handling basic restorations. As such, they have limited experience with oral surgery and are not the most seasoned provider to visit for this procedure.
#2. Cosmetic dentist
Cosmetic dentists are primarily concerned with the appearance of teeth and the smile overall. As such, they are more likely to recommend natural-looking implants over solutions like dentures. Some cosmetic dentists are placing the implants themselves, though many cosmetic dentists work with an oral surgeon to complete the implant for the best results.
A periodontist completes significant training in treating the gums and jawbone. Periodontists typically have additional schooling and clinical experience over a general dentist when it comes to this area of the mouth. As such, periodontists can be a better provider to visit for implants than a general dentist.
#4. Oral surgeon
An oral surgeon is going to be the most experienced provider when it comes to placing dental implants. Keep in mind that implants are placed surgically and have to be secured to the jawbone. Therefore, visiting a provider who conducts surgery as their mainstay, means the patient is going to be under the care of a physician who has the highest level of expertise. Additionally, many patients need to have a bone graft prior to receiving dental implants and this is something that an oral surgeon must handle.
Who should you visit for dental implant surgery?
The choice of who to visit for dental implant surgery is highly personal and depends on several factors. Patients who have had numerous procedures at their general or cosmetic dentist offices may be comfortable visiting them for such an in-depth surgery. Others may be under the care of a periodontist for problems with their gum health. In those cases, it may make sense to continue seeing the same provider.
However, patients who are looking for a new provider to perform the implant surgery and do not currently have a preference should probably speak with an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon is a physician who will have the greatest level of expertise and be able to provide assistance for all things surrounding the implant procedure. This means that if a bone graft is necessary first, they can perform one and then place the implants when a patient is ready.
Take the next steps
Learn more about why dental implants are so popular and how they are placed.
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