5 Tips for Choosing the Right Implant Dentist

The world of cosmetic dentistry has come an incredibly long way. That’s certainly a good thing. In the past, replacing teeth meant dentures (and the daily maintenance that goes along with them). Thankfully, dental implants are safe, widely available, and (most importantly) indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Deciding to pursue the dental implant avenue is the first step. So, congratulations on deciding to move forward on a potentially life-changing procedure. Before you book your appointment and begin your pursuit of a more confident smile, there are a few things to consider. For starters, you’ll need to choose your implant dentist!

Today, we’ll break down the things that you should probably consider before settling on the implant dentist of your dreams. So sit back, relax, and prepare yourself for a crash course on the world of implant dentistry.

Training

To the untrained eye, all dental implants look the same. But, to the well-trained eye, they’re far from identical.

Endosteal implants are supported by screws, cylinders, or blades that are surgically attached to the jawbone. Whereas subperiosteal implants are placed on-top of the jawbone and are generally used when a patient lacks the minimum jawbone height required for conventional dentures.

Then there’s the procedure to consider. Things like single tooth replacement, multiple teeth replacement, sinus augmentation, and more. Every professional practice has procedures that they’re good at and others that they’re not so good at. So, when choosing an implant dentist, it’s important to ensure that the one that you choose has the training and the know-how to accomplish your recommended procedure.

The only way to do that is by asking questions. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, this is your smile.

Online Reviews

Pre-screening potential businesses by reading online customer reviews has become standard practice across all professional fields and the field of implant dentistry is no different. Google offers this service, as well as popular review aggregator sights Yelp and Yellow Pages.

Don’t get me wrong, online reviews do have a tendency to sway dramatically one way or the other. A slightly uncomfortable experience with a dental professional can earn a one-star review and a moderately positive experience often earns a five-star review. But, even though online customer reviews are quite often unreliable, they can still provide you with a reasonable expectation of the offered service as well as an inside look at the average customer’s experience. I suggest that you actually read the review, instead just glancing at the star rating and moving on.

Referrals

The medical community is very close knit, so expect to receive a referral for an implant dental specialist from your current dentist or dental hygienist. Medical referrals are common practice and, providing that you actually trust your current oral health professional, than accepting their referral could potentially save you a lot of time searching the internet and reading online reviews.

It goes without saying that friends, family and co-workers can also be a great source for honest opinions and sound recommendations. Talking to a friend about their dental implant experience could prove invaluable. Hearing a first-hand account of a real-life surgical success story can do wonders for your pre-surgery nerves. Better still, you’ll actually be able to see what the dental implants look like!

Price

As much as we’d all love to enjoy the benefits of a uniform price for surgical procedures, it’s simply not realistic. The best oral surgeons are often in high demand and, as such, their fees are higher. There are other factors that contribute to price as well. There’s the question of how many teeth you’re looking to replace, the cost of the particular procedure that your dentist recommends, the number of follow-up appointments involved, and whether or not your insurance provider will cover the procedure.

So, how much do they cost? The cost of dental implants can land anywhere in between $1600 (CAD) and $4000 (CAD) per tooth. Yes, they can get expensive, especially when you’re comparing the upfront cost to more temporary options. It’s important to note though, that dental implants are a permanent solution. And, shopping around can save you quite a bit of money if you’re patient.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly do not advocate bargain-bin shopping for dental implants. We are talking about your teeth. No, when it comes to searching for the right dental implants (and the right price), I suggest that you spend to your budget. Seek out the best quality dental implant service that you can afford and take solace in the fact that your procedure will be safe and sound.

Comfort

Recommendations, accolades, five-star ratings, and competitive price points are great in theory, but in practice, comfort is quite often king. No, I’m not talking about the cushiness of the dental chair. I’m talking about your comfort level with the dentist in charge of reconstructing your smile. Cleanliness of the dental office, bedside manner, and willingness to answer your endless supply of questions … it all adds up!

Remember, getting dental implants can be a length process, with multiple appointments and follow-ups spread out over several months. As such, the decision to commit to a dentist is a big one. We recommend meeting the dentist before committing to the procedure. Think of it like a pre-surgery interview. And don’t be afraid to talk to multiple dental implant specialists. Your new teeth will thank you.

Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

Jun 28, 2018