When ready to get dental implants, it is important to understand how the procedure works and which provider to visit for the surgery. An oral surgeon is typically going to be the right choice since they have extensive experience in placing dental implants and conducting oral surgery in general.
It is important to understand that dental implants are surgically placed. For the process to work, an oral surgeon needs to insert a titanium post under the gum line and attach it to the jawbone. People need to do this carefully and precisely to ensure that the implant takes and there are no complications. Naturally, the more experience a provider has in placing implants, the more likely it is that the process will go smoothly.
While some general dentists do offer implants as a way to replace missing teeth, they are not surgeons and do not have the additional education or clinical training to take on the title of an oral surgeon. This is a distinction that we must make because just like someone wants to visit a cardiologist for heart problems rather than a general physician, someone should visit an oral surgeon for oral surgery, rather than a general dentist. The chances for a better outcome are higher than visiting a general dentist.
Receive treatment from professionals
Another reason to visit an oral surgeon is that a procedure may be necessary before getting the implants. When a tooth is lost, the body begins the process of resorption. Since that area of the jawbone no longer receives stimulation by the root and tooth, the body takes calcium from it to use elsewhere. This can lead to a weakening of the jawbone and create a lack of density that is necessary for the implant to be secured in place.
In this circumstance, a bone graft may be necessary to help the jawbone become dense enough to support a dental implant. An oral surgeon must complete this procedure, so even if a patient were to visit a general dentist first, it is likely that they will end up in our office.
An oral surgeon will have every sedation option available for this and other treatments. Other options include anesthesia to the point of being asleep. With implants, the procedure can take awhile, especially if multiple implants are being placed at the same time. Going to sleep for the procedure makes it far easier to be relaxed and for time to pass quickly.
Experience matters when recovering
The experience level a provider has in placing implants will impact the procedure itself and the recovery outcomes. For example, if a provider places them regularly, the likelihood of areas surrounding the implant site becoming irritated or damaged are very low. This makes recovering a much faster process. As such, the more experience a provider has, the better.
Schedule an appointment
Receiving high-quality, durable dental implants is as easy as scheduling a consultation with an oral surgeon. During the appointment, we will take X-rays to determine if a bone graft is necessary or if it is possible to place the implants right away.
To learn more about the process, call us at (714) 545-7157 and make an appointment right away.
Dr. Eric Vanek, d.d.s
Eric has been a practicing dental surgeon for over 20 years and is the owner of Vanek Dentistry, a family dental practice in Costa Mesa, CA.
Published September 29, 2017. Updated August 17, 2021