Entrusting your care to a Dental Implant Specialist

How to Choose a Dental Implant Dentist

So you need a dental implant - but how do you find the best implant dentist for your particular needs?

The distress of losing one or more teeth due to trauma, gum disease, decay or fracture has been somewhat softened by the knowledge that dental implants provide a fantastic replacement option for missing teeth.

Dental implants are no longer a 'rare' dental treatment and are gaining popularity over dental bridges or removable dentures – but this can be a double-edged sword. With the increasing demand for dental implants from patients, comes an increase in dentists hopping on the ‘dental implant’ bandwagon, with potentially disastrous results.

So how, as an ‘Average Joe’, are you supposed to sort through the fact and fiction, and make an educated assessment as to the capabilities and competencies of your dental practitioner when completing such a treatment?

Find 'Your' Dental Implant Dentist

Firstly – do your research, and come armed to any consultation appointment with appropriate questions that should be answered confidently and easily by your treatment provider and their support staff.

A knowledgeable dentist should be educating his team – and ensuring they are capable of answering any appropriate question that is asked of them! After all, if they have done the treatment many times, this shouldn’t be a problem! There should also be signs that this treatment is routine in their practice. For example, dental implant treatment is so important to our practice that The Macquarie Street Centre has invested in the latest 3D Cone Beam CT technology, which means we can take three-dimensional radiographs on the spot for our patients without the need for referral to radiologists for the appropriate diagnostic scans. This saves time in developing our treatment plan and determining if there are any grafting needs for the patient to build adequate bone volume.

Request Implant-Related Case Examples

Ask to see cases! Again, there should be many examples of dental implant treatment being completed successfully – and not just on their website. They should have access to case examples on their practice computers or even in hard copy. This should also be documented both radiographically (x-rays) and with photographic records – as there is nothing like seeing an image of this treatment at all stages - before, during and after.

Read our article on why dental implants are an ideal solution for patients with missing teeth.

What sort of training has the clinician undertaken? Have they made a commitment to continuing education and is this up to date?

It’s no use having done a hundred courses if the most recent one was 10 years ago. Technology and techniques change so quickly in the dental profession, that it is critical for this education to be contemporary. Ask to see qualifications as well as the names of the companies or providers who are running these courses. Our principal Dr David Dunn is not only an avid student but is fortunate to be playing a direct role in the education of his fellow dental colleagues as well. In fact, Dr Dunn is a figure of authority on the subject, having been featured on programs such as Dental Community and Dental Events.

Cheap vs High-Quality Implant Dentistry

As far as you can, don’t let price be the determinate. It is often said that 'you can pay too little – but you can rarely pay too much’ and this is certainly true for dental implant treatment. Dental care is just as important as any other healthcare service – so would the price be a factor when considering a heart surgeon? Generally, the cost of your implant treatment is a direct reflection of the quality of materials (including the implants themselves), equipment and technical support, as well as the critical diagnostic and clinical skills of your dentist. Please consider that your teeth are vital to your self-confidence, health and function when you eat, speak and smile – 24/7, 365 days a year. Your teeth never take a day off. Please also consider that poorly executed implant treatment generally needs to be completely re-done, significantly increasing the overall financial investment, and subjecting you to multiple surgical procedures - and an unnecessarily drawn-out treatment time frame. In addition, the re-treatment is almost always with a compromised outcome – and hence, nothing will ever be as good as getting it right the first time. Please also be wary of those offering ‘package deals’ with little individualisation of the treatment plan – as dental implant treatment is by no means a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Careful diagnostic assessment and individual treatment planning is critical to implant success.

At the end of the day – trust your instincts. If something appears ‘too good to be true’ or you get an unsettled feeling when discussing the treatment with your dental care provider, then seek a second opinion. The added expense of an additional consultation may save you a significant amount of financial and physical pain in the long-term.

Visit Dr Dunn at The Macquarie Street Centre

If you have any enquiries about dental implant treatments, contact our professional team at Macquarie Street Centre on 02 9247 1394. Our dentist in Sydney CBD can provide you with further guidance or treatment options for all types of dental problems, no matter how big or small.

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