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Dental Implants

What Is an Implantologist & How Do They Differ From a Dentist?

If you’re curious about dental implants and your usual dentist refers you to an implantologist, this can be quite daunting. If your dentist does not offer dental implant treatment, this means you will need to see a dentist with specialist training in this field of dentistry.

Dental implants are not part of the standard training for dentists. This means that dentists have to take on additional training before they can offer this treatment plan. In this guide, we’ll explore the role of the implantologist in this treatment journey.

What is an implantologist?

What is an implantologist?

An implantologist is simply a dentist who has undertaken additional training to learn how to place dental implants. As mentioned above, dental implants are not a part of the standard dental training.

Dentists will attend medical school for 5 years to learn how to be a general dentist. They will then work for around 2 years as a general dentist to complete their training. After this point, many dentists will specialise. They could specialise in orthodontics (braces), endodontics (tooth roots) or they could learn how to place dental implants.

Training for dental implants usually takes between 18 months and 3 years, depending on the intensity of the training course. Once qualified, the dentist can then call themselves an implantologist and they will be able to plan and carry out these complex treatment plans.

What does an implantologist do?

What does an implantologist do?

An implantologist is responsible for treatment planning and maintaining dental implants. From start to finish, they will be responsible for your treatment plan. A typical day as an implantologist could include the following tasks:

  • Meeting with prospective patients to determine if they are suitable candidates for dental implants. They will also answer questions about the treatment plan so the patient feels comfortable moving forward.

  • Taking X-rays, CT scans and digital scans of the inside of the mouth to confirm if the patient can have dental implants. The implantologist needs to be able to interpret this information and formulate a treatment plan from the images.

  • Creating a treatment plan, often alongside a treatment coordinator. This is a member of the dental nursing team with in-depth knowledge of the dental implant treatment process.

  • Performing bone grafting or sinus lifts to help make it possible to have dental implants.

  • Placing implants, abutments and final restorations.

  • Checking on the health of dental implants months and years after treatment to ensure they are performing correctly.

  • Learning about new materials and techniques in the dental implant sector.

  • Teaching dental implant students about the techniques needed to place implants.

As you can see, most implantologists will focus on dental implant treatment alone. Some will perform these treatments alongside their general dentist services. This could include routine checkups, fillings, extractions and more.

What questions should I ask during my implantologist appointment?

What questions should I ask during my implantologist appointment?

If you are planning to visit an implantologist, it makes sense to make the most of the opportunity to ask questions. We advise patients to write down their questions so they don’t forget during their appointment. Some questions you might want to ask could include:

  • How many patients have you treated?

  • What is the success rate for dental implants you have placed?

  • Have you treated anyone with a similar case to mine?

  • How long do you expect the treatment plan to take?

  • What are the potential risks of this treatment plan?

  • Do you offer a payment plan?

Should I get implants abroad?

Should I get implants abroad?

We don’t advise going overseas for your dental implant treatment for the following reasons:

  • You won’t have any legal protection if the procedure goes wrong. In the UK, you are protected by the General Dental Council, and they can make the dentist put things wrong if they make a mistake. You don’t have this protection with overseas dentists.

  • You won’t know if the dentist you meet is the one that will be performing your treatment. It’s common in overseas clinics for the lead implantologist to oversee dental students placing implants, which isn’t the same as an implantologist performing the procedure.

  • Language barriers can make the process more daunting. If the treatment plan needs to change, it’s difficult for you to consent, so you might be left in the dark.

Ready to explore dental implants with us?

If you’d like to discuss the option of dental implants with our team, get in touch to arrange your consultation today.

Call us now to make an appointment

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