Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that in many ways are better than natural teeth, but if done improperly can lead to major problems and major costs to correct those problems.
Choose a doctor with Bona Fide Credentials that signify the doctor has been tested on his/her skills relating to dental implant treatment. Dental surgical specialists have a Board Certification, a credential that signifies their skill in surgery, dental implant treatment has a surgical component, but there is more. Surgical specialists do not perform the second phase of dental implant treatment or the fabrication of artificial teeth supported by dental implants. Prosthodontic specialists have a Board Certification, a certificate that signifies their skill in fabricating artificial teeth supported by implants, but not for surgery. There are some specialists with Board Certifications in surgery and prosthetic dentistry, some have a medical degree in addition to other Board Certifications.
General dentists, and dental specialists can become Board Certified for Implant Dentistry through the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, which certifies a doctor’s knowledge and competence in all phases of implant dentistry, even if he/she does not provide all the parts of the treatment. A Bona Fide credential is a certification from an independent testing organization that requires a doctor to present evidence of competence in one or both phases of the treatment that requires testing. Why is that important?
A Board Certified doctor showing competence in Implant Dentistry can possibly help avoid improper treatment and unwanted complications. Board Certification in one or more aspects of the treatment process, surgical and/or prosthetic phases, is desirable, but not a guarantee of results. The most important consideration for any patient is the doctor’s overall experience and knowledge in all aspects of the dental implant treatment process. This includes proper diagnosis and treatment planning, surgical placement, prosthetic restoration of the missing teeth, and regular follow up and preventive care based upon that experience. The American Dental Association for reasons of their own has chosen not to recognized implant dentistry as a dental specialty, nevertheless, it is very specialized treatment with great potential for excellent and other outcomes. The American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry was established and chartered by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry in 1969 and serves the function of a Bona Fide certifying organization, similar to other recognized dental specialty certifying boards. Nevertheless, Implant Dentistry is not a dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association.