I’m trying to find the best implant dentist. I understand that there is always some risk of failure, but as I understand it, this risk is mitigated based on the skill of the dentist. I read a study that showed that the longer a doctor was in practice, the better implant dentist he was, but it didn’t say anything about how many years of experience the doctors who did quality work had. Is there some magic number I need to be looking for?
John in Minnesota
It sounds like you’ve been doing your homework. Kudos to you! Yes, you are absolutely right. Studies have shown that a doctor’s experience does have a huge impact on whether the dental implants he places will last or not. They have a very high success rate regardless, but you certainly want to be in the hands of an expert for a procedure like this.
The studies didn’t publish a “best number of years” or anything like that. What they did was compare how well the restorations lasted when they were performed by a doctor in residence versus a specialist in practice.
It’s not necessarily the number of years a doctor is in practice. It comes down to the amount of training he has had, as well as the total number of cases he has seen, and how often he performs the procedure.
If you’re looking for the best dentist in any area of expertise, call and ask those kinds of questions, or better yet, go in for a consultation and speak to the doctor for yourself. In regard to dental implants specifically, you can also ask how many of his cases have failed. Bear in mind, sometimes they do fail for seemingly no reason and other times a patient doesn’t practice proper home-care or follow up with routine cleanings. So, any doctor you find will have a couple of cases that were not successful. However, unless he has an incredibly high-volume practice, he probably remembers each one, as well as the details of the case, and why he thinks it failed.
You aren’t going to be able to identify the best implant dentist based on how long he has been in practice, but you should be able to get a good idea for who will provide you with the best care based on the way he answers if you ask him questions related to the info outline here.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.