Ten Questions You Should Ask Your Implant Dentist in Washington DC

Why are periodontists great at dental implants?

Did you know that there aren’t currently any laws regarding which kind of oral surgeries general dentists can and can’t perform in their offices? Although some dentists may have taken extra courses to learn more about dental implants, that convention class or month-long course doesn’t compare to the extra three years of formal training periodontists receive during periodontal school. Periodontists receive extensive training regarding the complex anatomy of the mouth and jaw, how to treat gum inflammation and complicated oral diseases, and how to properly place, maintain, and repair dental implants. Periodontists such as Dr. Karl A. Rose are qualified to place your implants and understand how to address any issues that may arise along the way.

Even trained periodontists might be a little rusty if they don’t place dental implants very frequently. Always make sure to ask how many implants the periodontist places in a given year to determine if he or she is qualified and comfortable to handle your unique case. If your periodontist mentions that they mainly focus on the treatment of gum disease or that they don’t place implants that often, you should continue looking for a doctor until you find someone that places implants routinely. Look for a periodontist that places hundreds of dental implants a year in order to ensure that he or she stays up to date with the latest procedures and feels comfortable with the procedure.

To avoid dental implant complications, your periodontist should offer a thorough consultation exam to evaluate the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If your teeth have been missing for a while, your jawbone may have resorbed, limiting the ridge width or depth and potentially complicating your dental implant placement. Ask your periodontist how they will check to see if you are a good dental implant candidate, and avoid any dentist or periodontist who seems eager to operate before conducting a thorough inspection of your teeth and gums.

Many dentists and periodontists are eager to post impressive statistics on their websites about how many hours of continuing education courses they have taken over the years. However, these courses won’t help you much unless they focused on dental implant placement, bone grafting, or resolving potential implant complications. Ask your periodontist what kinds of continuing education courses they have taken the past few years, and inquire specifically about dental implant courses. The field of dental implant technology is constantly changing, and periodontists who take continuing education seriously and learn about these changes are better suited to address common implant problems and make your experience more comfortable.

You'll get the best results from your implant procedure when you are informed and prepared.

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As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Ask to see before and after pictures of patients who have undergone dental implant surgery conducted by your potential dentist or periodontist. Pay attention to the way the teeth are situated, how healthy the gums look, and how aesthetically pleasing the smile is. High-quality, properly placed, healthy dental implants should blend in with the surrounding teeth and gums.

If you were a plumber or an electrician, you wouldn’t go to an important job without a few extra parts. The same principle holds true with dental implant surgery. Ask your periodontist if they keep extra dental implants on hand in case special situations come up. Most experienced periodontists keep at least 30 to 40 extra implants on hand in case implants break, don’t fit, or don’t match your needs. Working with a periodontist who is prepared for any situation will ensure that you don’t have to leave the office with an unattractive smile.

Just like any other product, there are name brand and knockoff dental implants. To save money, some dentists opt for generic implants, but unfortunately, these might not look as natural or stand up against bite force and staining as well as their name-brand counterparts. Look for a periodontist that offers high-end, name-brand dental implants.

Dental implant surgery is complicated and difficult, which means that the failure rates for implants might be much higher for dentists who don’t have the experience or proper training with implant placement. Ask your periodontist what their average dental implant success rate is, and look for a professional whose success rates hover around 100%. If your periodontist mentions a recent dental implant failure, ask why that person’s implants had problems. While individual patients hold some responsibility to care for their implants and avoid complications, a dentist who reports a 70 or 80% success rate shouldn’t be placing your dental implants.

Good periodontists will work hard to prepare your mouth for dental implants and place them properly, but great periodontists also use the latest dental technologies to ensure that your implants will be strong and comfortable. For example, Periodontist Dr. Karl A. Rose uses guided dental implant technology, which uses a 3-D image of your teeth, jawbone tissue, and gums to create a physical guide that lab technicians can use to make custom dental implants. In addition to ensuring the proper fit for your dental implants, guided dental implant technology also helps to speed up the implant placement process, avoid extra surgeries, and improve success rates for implants in general.

Dr. Karl "Tony" Rose

Most people don’t realize it, but the dental implant process can be lengthy for some patients. Some patients might have to wait 4-9 months for bone grafts to heal before implants can be placed, while others qualify for immediate load dental implants that can be placed the same day. Up-to-date technology is a large factor in speeding the dental implant process.

  1. “How long will this process take?”

You don't want just anyone to perform your dental implant procedure. By asking these questions during your dental implant consultation, you can find the best periodontist in Washington DC to help you to restore your smile. Dr. Rose is happy to answer any questions you have, so contact us today.