How do I Choose the Right Implant Dentist?

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How do I know this is the right doctor for my All-On-Four implant smile transformation?

One of the factors to consider when choosing which practice to trust for your treatment is to know if this is the right doctor. How do I separate a general dentistry practice from a true dental implant center? There are many ways to measure this.

First, a practice limited to dental implants will have a different feel when you communicate with them. For a practice to manage complex All-On-Four surgeries where they do more than one or two a month, some questions to ask would be:

• How long has the doctor been in practice and what experience do they have in implant dentistry?

• Does the doctor restore the implants (make the teeth) or do they do the surgical aspect (bone augmentations, and placing implants in the bone)? Do they design the plan together or who is the one deciding what the treatment plan will be?

When you have one doctor that does it all from start to finish, there is a distinct advantage in that the plan is controlled start to finish with the end in mind and there is no one else to blame or push responsibility to if things do not go according to plan.

If you choose a doctor who takes responsibilities of all the disciplines involved, how do you know how to choose the right one?

• First, make sure to check their credentials. If you are trusting your health, beauty, function, and transformation to someone, make sure they are the best in their field. An American Board of Oral Implantology (ABOI) certified Dental Implantologist has undergone the most rigorous examination process of both written and oral boards defense. To even apply for this credential, you must have a minimum of seven (7) years of clinical practice experience in Implant Dentistry. You must have completed 75 cases of implant treatment and the implants have been fully restored and functional for a minimum of one year which are evaluated for expected outcomes. The doctor must possess a minimum of 670 hours of Continuing Dental Education hours or Continuing Medical education hours that are specific to implant dentistry. Once your application is accepted, you must sit for an entire day of written boards (two parts). Once passed, the final defense is an oral board examination process. This requires submission of 8 clinical cases for specific criteria (some very complex) that are peer reviewed and examined for clinical judgement, desired outcome, approved clinical standards and technique, and many other criteria. Of these, the doctor will defend his cases orally to a board of examiners for 2 hours of 20-minute exams with to 2 different examiners at 6 different stations. This is the most rigorous examination process in the field of Oral Implantology.

• Another factor when determining who is the best option for your treatment, look at their previous results. These results should be easily accessible from any doctor doing this type of treatment. Many “dabble” in this type of treatment to find it is much more complex than they expected and hard to get desired results. Doctors who do this often should have many before and after pictures for you to evaluate. Look for testimonials about the care patients have received. Check their Google reviews. How many and what do people say? Does the “feel” of the doctor’s team and facility give you confidence they are an expert in the field.

• Finally, if there is ever a doubt. Get a second opinion. Challenge your decision by getting multiple options for your results. Are they listening to me? Do they care about me? Do they make it easy for me to do the research on who they are and what they are capable of, outside of what they tell me they can do?

It’s a life transformation! It’s important! Do your research and trust your heart!