Let’s dive into some more question and answer topics, shall we? The most recent question we’ve received is, “What is an implantologist?” I figured not only should we address this directly but I’m going to cover three different myths that are PREVALENT in the dental implant world. Number one and this may shock you, the title of implantologist is completely made up. There is no such thing, the title of implantologist is a marketing tool. I’ve used it at the request of some of our clients in the past. Now let’s look at, “What is an implantologist?” Dentistry is unique in the sense that there is not a specialty for dental implants. There is however, a specialty for endodontics and a specialty for orthodontics, for prosthodontics but there is no specialty for dental implants. Sorry if this bursts your bubble but there is no specialty for implant surgery. Now oral surgeons and periodontists have increased knowledge when it comes to surgery, for sure.
I always have said looking for a specialist is key but a general dentist that says he’s an implantologist is a blatant misrepresentation. What qualifies this general dentist is likely a 10-hour class that was taken over a long weekend. Personally, I wouldn’t look at any practitioner that has not placed at least 500 implants individually and at least 50 cases for the full-arch bare minimum. Anybody that we have talked and that is “an expert” has completed hundreds of arches if not thousands and has placed five to ten thousand implants easily. This is not something a course can buy them, that expertise behind the chair. Secondly, technology is so important you guys. Dentists are cheap, notoriously cheap. Sorry for all the dentists out there reading this. Some of you don’t cut corners but there are many that do. Look for a practitioner who invests in the technology, who invests in the intraoral scanners, who invests in the guided surgeries, who invests into all the technology that helps them give you the ability to have the best smile possible. Why? Because they will have more data points to be able to perform and get a detailed image on exactly the bone the infrastructure, the smile line, basically everything that is involved that comes to giving you your perfect smile.
Lastly and this is so crucial, I believe a dentist’s education starts when he is actually behind the chair. Have they gotten all their education from a dental school and then a few online courses here and there? Or are they serious about practicing their trade, do they invest in their education for the duration of their career. When you are interviewing a practitioner, ask them where the last three continuing education courses were held, when they were held, what they were on, and who hosted them. You will be able to weed out a dentist that’s looking to make extra money doing implants as a side hustle and there is a lot out there folks. And one that really has hands-on training. These doctors usually have to invest time and money into their education by flying out of the country to complete these courses. They are not conducted in America for liability reasons. Instead, they go to The Dominican Republic, to Mexico or to different areas of the world to have hands-on courses. While there, they place dozens of implants back to back to back and then complete full arch cases as part of their training. I know there are also some specialty groups out there that offer of this as continuing education. So ask, “Who’s hosting the training? What’s their pedigree? Where have you had your continuing education?”
We go more in depth on this on our website, www.thesmilementor.com and if you’ve already been there you know that if you haven’t go check it out it’s a labor of love for you the patient. We have more on what to look for in consultations. In fact, there is an entire guide on this alone. We’ve interviewed experts, patients and scientists. So head on over and let us know what you think.
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