28 December 2022
Dental implants can provide an excellent treatment option for missing teeth. However, you should be careful to make the right decision when choosing a specialist to place your dental implants. While some general dentists offer dental implants, an oral surgeon can be better suited for this specific treatment.
Oftentimes, implant surgery is not a simple dental procedure and can require specialized equipment and facilities. Many dentists are not equipped to carry out this type of procedure due to a lack of proper training, equipment, or support staff. Ideally, a patient will have healthy gums and enough jawbone so that no preparatory procedures are required. However, when the situation is less straightforward, an experienced oral surgeon is required.
Implant surgeries often require additional procedures that only a specialized oral surgeon can provide.
Among the most common additional procedures for dental implants is jawbone grafting. Dental implants are embedded in the jaw, so the bone must be thick and strong enough to support them. Unfortunately, for some patients, this is not the case. Gum disease, infected or missing teeth, and a patient’s genetics can all lead to the need for bone grafting prior to implant surgery.
For dental implants in the upper arch, the sinuses may be too low. A sinus lift procedure may be necessary to achieve enough bone thickness for successful implant placement. A general dentist often cannot carry out these surgeries around the sinus cavity, and will refer you to an oral surgeon for both the sinus and implant surgery.
When you choose an oral surgeon to place your dental implants, you choose a specialist with an additional 4-6 years of training following dental school. This specialized training makes an oral surgeon more capable of planning and executing your dental implant treatment plan.
Oral surgeons complete a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery, during which time they carry out treatment under the supervision and guidance of experienced surgeons. Following that, they will have passed a challenging board examination before being able to practice as a board-certified oral surgeon. Oral surgeons are the experts in oral anatomy and dental implant surgery.
Having your dental implants placed by an oral surgeon will also provide a greater range of options for anesthesia and sedation. Many oral surgeons will recommend intravenous (IV) sedation to render the patient asleep for the lengthy procedure. Most dentists will not be able to provide you with the comfort and anxiety relief that sedation offers.
Planning the treatment is just as important as the procedure itself, and an oral surgeon has the knowledge, training, and experience to develop an optimal treatment plan.
The oral surgeons at Mid-Kansas OMS provide patients with dental implants and carry out the required bone grafting and other additional procedures needed. If you’re considering surgery, read our other material to learn more about dental implants and what the process of getting them is like.