Dental Implants—Does It Matter Who Performs The Procedure?

Dental implants are now firmly a “standard of care” when it comes to replacing single or multiple missing teeth.  As you can see from my previous posts, there is no question that dental implants are the most definitive and cost-effective treatment when compared to bridges and dentures.  The purpose of today’s post is to see whether it should matter to the patient who actually places the implants (performs the dental implant surgery).

Drawing of Natural Tooth vs. Dental Implant

Technically speaking, anyone with a dental degree (DDS or DMD) can place implants.  So that means that dental implants can be placed by general dentists as well as specialists.  This is where it can get very tricky.  I think we can all agree that the person doing the procedure should have the basic knowledge about the procedure as well as a certain amount of experience to be able to do the procedure well and to handle any complications that arise during or after the procedure.

General knowledge about the procedure, experience, as well as technical expertise vary greatly among the providers/doctors.  Overall, the specialist (oral surgeon) will have more experience and technical expertise just because they have been able to perform a greater number of these procedures (both during their residency training and while working at an Oral Surgery practice).

On the other hand, a general dentist is probably not as experienced in doing dental implants since placing dental implants does not constitute the majority of their clinical practice.  As a matter of fact, a number of dentists who consider themselves qualified to place dental implants have simply attended a weekend course on the subject, or, at best, traveled to a course in a third-world country where they can “safely” practice placing implants on live patients.

Without a doubt, there are general dentists that can place dental implants well.  And of course, there are specialists who do not do a good job placing dental implants.  But by and large, by sheer numbers of procedures performed, a typical Oral Surgeon will be much more knowledgeable and capable of placing dental implants than a general dentist.

So when it comes to deciding who places a dental implant, the doctor’s knowledge, experience, and an ability to handle complications well should be important factors for you to consider.

Dr. Tsvetov offers complimentary  dental implant evaluation which includes Cone Bean scan. Please call our office 951-302-3100 or request your appointment online.