Choosing your implant surgeon

Dental implants are about more than looks. By giving you back the ability to eat, drink and speak as though you had all your natural teeth, dental implants can help you feel more comfortable and confident.

As more people have discovered the benefits of dental implants their popularity has soared and more and more doctors are trying to meet the demand for this procedure. In most cases things go fine, and there are no complications. However, since dental implants represent a substantial investment—and are designed to last a lifetime—it is critical that you select a properly trained and experienced doctor. Dr. Longbottom, for example, is uniquely qualified in the field, having trained extensively in the United States and having placed thousands of implants over the past 22 years.

Choose your doctor wisely

Most people spend more time researching the purchase of an automobile than they do assessing their doctor’s background and credentials. However, dental implant surgery—like any surgery—requires significant expertise. In a very small percentage of cases complications such as infection, numbness, or implant failure can occur.

A lot goes into implant surgery

Dental implants require surgical skill in order to achieve the ideal depth and placement while avoiding vital facial structures such as the trigeminal nerve. However, a good implant doctor needs more than just skill in the surgical aspect of the procedure. Your doctor must be skilled at assessment, as he or she will need to evaluate your oral health as well as your overall health, the quality of the bone in your jaw your facial symmetry, jaw alignment and temporomandibular joint function. He or she must have a thorough understanding of occlusion, or the way teeth fit together in order to function properly, as well as the esthetics of implants as they relate to your facial structures and appearance. Taking all of these factors into account, it becomes clear that choosing the right doctor is a critical factor in the successful placement of dental implants.  Dr. Longbottom was trained in the United States in a three year program in Implant Dentistry and Periodontics.

Things to ask your doctor:

  1. What are your qualifications?
  2. How many implants have you placed? How long have you been doing the procedure?
  3. What is your success rate?
  4. Do you do handle the surgical portion of the procedure as well as the restoration?
  5. How do you determine implant placement, and what methods do you use to avoid hitting a nerve?
  6. How do you handle complications?
  7. What safeguards will be in place to guard against infection during surgery?
  8. What type of implants do you use, and how dependable are they? How long have you been using this system?
  9. May I interview former patients?

All your care in one place?

It is important to note that some doctors who say they do dental implants are referring to the fact that they do the restoration portion of the procedure, which is when the new teeth are fabricated and secured atop the implants. A doctor who only does restorations will need to refer you to another doctor for the initial surgical procedure. If this is the case, you will want to evaluate the training and experience of both doctors as well as their comfort with the implant system that has been chosen.

Learn more about what makes Dr. Longbottom uniquely qualified in the field.


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