Choosing a Dentist
There are now many dentists and practitioners (some good, some not so good) offering dental implants and prices seem to vary between different practices. To date, there is no restriction on which dentists can place implants. On the face of it this could be good for competition but it can be very confusing and difficult to compare one practice with another. If the price is cheap there is a reason for this!
This is a brief guide as to some of the things you should look for:
How many implants has the dentist placed?
We would recommend finding a dentist that has placed at least 500 implants. The number of implants placed is probably the best indication of experience. At York Dental Implant Centre, Robert has placed over 3000 implants.
Does the dentist have additional qualifications?
Many dentists have taken considerable time and effort to gain additional qualifications and have had to pass rigorous exams. However, you need to check what the qualification is:
- Is the qualification from a bona-fide University?
- Is the qualification relevant?
- Ideally the qualification will be specific to dental implants. Other qualifications may be useful but may not be specific enough to dental implants.
- Is the qualification registered with the General Dental Council? You can check this at www.gdc-uk.org.
- Some qualifications can be gained with the dentist having very limited practical experience doing implant surgery, so again you should ask how many implants they have placed!
- Does the dentist claim to be a specialist? There is no speciality in dental implants in the UK, so anyone claiming to be a specialist in dental implants is misleading.
Which implant system is being used?
There are hundreds of dental implant systems on the market. There are very real differences in the performance and scientific literature between different systems. This often accounts for the biggest differences in cost. You should choose a leading system, even if this costs more, as the implants need to be life-long. At York Dental Implant Centre, Robert has used the Astratech system for many years, as it is the system with the longest scientific research base. You can look on the Astra website here.
Success rates are often quoted but are these the dentist’s own success rate or just generic to all dentists?
Is the success rate quoted for the implant system they are currently using? Robert has achieved a success rate of 99.7%, taking account of all implant placements he has done! (over 3000).
What follow up and aftercare is available?
Is this only available during treatment or is there a system in place for long-term (years) care and review? Is there an out of hours number to put you in touch with an experienced implant dentist? At York Dental Implant Centre, we provide personal, long-term care for you and your implants and are happy for you to contact us out of hours.
Should I go abroad?
This is really a whole subject in itself. Laws and standards vary very much from one country to another and it can be difficult to understand the different systems. Different implants are often used in other countries, which means if you ever have a problem, however small, you will have to travel back to the country that provided the implants. Dental implant treatment often involves a number of appointments spread over many months. Are you prepared to travel to the other country on multiple occasions?