Those of you who are my patients know that I do a very thorough examination and develop an individualized plan to improve your oral health or maintain in its tip-top condition. When you come in after your initial new patient visit, my hygienist and I always have a plan in mind for you. Based on changes we see in your mouth since your last visit, some changes in that plan might be indicated, but you can be confident we’ve been thinking about you before you even walk in the door.
When it comes to replacing missing teeth with implants, I don’t come up with a treatment plan for you by myself. In fact, I am likely to discuss your dental circumstances with my implant study club composed of specialists (oral surgeons, periodontists, and other restorative dentists) before I even talk to you about your options. If you agree that implant treatment is in your best interest, I will refer you to one of these local specialists for their comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. They will then discuss with you and communicate with me what they think is the best treatment plan for you. It will be your decision whether or not you proceed with their recommended treatment plan, but I will make myself available to you to talk about the plan and help you make your decision.
After the specialists performs surgical procedures such as dental extraction, bone grafting, and implant placement, and then monitors the osseointegration process to know when the implant is firmly integrated with your jawbone, you are likely to come back to me to have a custom-fitted implant crown or bridge fixed on the implant(s).
Because the dental industry is constantly evolving with improved implant components, tools for placing those components, and more minimally invasive methods, implant surgeons take annual continuing education courses in this special area in order to stay at the forefront of their profession. Higher treatment efficiencies and nearly 100% success are being achieved by implant surgery specialists. The specialists I refer to perform implant placement and other related surgical procedures daily. They have in-house 3D Cone Beam Computerized Tomography for the most accurate surgical planning and precise surgery. Their 3D imaging allows them to select the best implant components for your situation and place them perfectly in an ideal position. Another technology in their offices allows them to create Platelet Enriched Fibrin or Plasma from a sample of your blood, which speeds healing and minimizes gum swelling. IV sedation for your surgery is available with our expert oral surgeons.
Am I alone in this approach? No. Many general and restorative dentists across the nation take this approach because they know they cannot perform implant procedures with the same degree of expertise and efficiency as the dental specialists who have advanced training and focus on this service.
Our guiding philosophy always is to allow our patients to have the highest level of dental care. In this case, our highest level of care partners us with hand-selected periodontists and oral surgeons.