Dental Implants – Leave Them to a Specialist

There are probably multiple providers of dental implants in your local area. Some dentists and specialists promote dental implants as one of their services, but it doesn’t mean you should use them before doing a little homework. 

Qualifications and Experience 

A prosthodontist is a specialist in complex dental and facial issues including the replacement of lost and damaged teeth. Prosthodontists complete an additional three years of full-time university study to qualify as a specialist dentist in the field of prosthodontics. After they have finished their studies, they usually only complete prosthodontic work. They don’t spend part of their day doing routine dentistry like fillings, check-ups, and x-rays. All their time is spent seeing prosthodontic patients. Their patients benefit from the additional study and experience a prosthodontists gain. 

All the Options 

It’s rare for a non-prosthodontist to offer everything from full dentures to dental implants. They may offer one service and their patients miss out on hearing about the other options that are available to them. There may be a cheaper alternative or one that’s a better for the patient’s lifestyle. A prosthodontist is skilled and experienced in all types of prosthodontics so they can confidently offer a patient all types and let them choose what suits them best. After all, the patient will need to live with their choice for life, in most cases. 

What Can Go Wrong 

Dental implants have a success rate of around 95%. For the 5% who suffer complications, it can have major implications. Some complications occur due to a patient’s poor health or lifestyle choices such as smoking but some complications occur through a lack of experience by the person doing the implant. 

Infections can occur when bacteria from a damaged tooth is left behind after extraction or the implant isn’t put in place properly so there is a gap near the implant where bacteria can enter. If the infection isn’t picked up and treated with a course of antibiotics, the infection can spread to the jawbone causing further complications. Sinus perforation can occur when the bones in the face are perforated by tools or the implant with the potential to cause an infection. There is also the potential for nerve damage if the implant is screwed in too close to the nerve in the lower jaw. 

Using an experienced surgeon who has performed the procedure hundreds of times is more likely to be able to avoid perforations, infections, and nerve damage than someone who does the occasional implant. 

In some cases, a dental implant will fail. This may be due to a complication; the patient was a poor candidate for a dental implant or the work in the lead-up and application was poor. 

An experienced prosthodontist and his team of surgeon’s is less likely to make mistakes that lead to a poor outcome for the patient. 

A Second Opinion 

When it comes to invasive procedures like dental implants it pays to do your research and get a second opinion. Dental implants require a financial outlay and have potential health risks so the decision to have an implant should not be made in the dentist’s chair at a six-monthly check-up. 

All dentists and specialist dentists prescribe to the Australian Dental Association’s code of conduct that encourages patients to seek a second opinion when necessary. So, there is no need to be anxious about seeing someone else. At Western Prosthodontic Centre we see many patients who have been given a quote for a dental implant at a dental surgery but want to seek a specialist opinion before they make any decision. Our qualified prosthodontist will give you his opinion on your best course of treatment and if you request a full quote with health insurance item numbers so you can compare costs. 

Call us on (08) 9321 1632 or contact us online to make a no-obligation appointment.