Are you confused about where to go for dental implant treatment?  Many different dentists claim to be ‘leaders and experts’ in the field of implant dentistry.  There are a number of implant centers and general dentists who offer to provide both the surgical and restorative aspects of dental implant treatment.  In order to decide what your best option is, it is critical that you understand how the team approach to dental implant treatment can benefit you.

Dental implants combine the best of science and technology, often involving the expertise of several different dental disciplines.  Traditionally, complex implant treatment has been provided by a private practice team consisting of a surgical specialist and a prosthodontist who specializes in tooth replacement and restoration. This team of dental specialists work together to draw up a treatment plan that best meets each individual patient’s needs.

 

Oral surgeons and periodontists are ADA-recognized surgical specialists who have completed post-graduate surgical residencies and are experienced in the management of potential surgical complications.

 

Prosthodontists are ADA-recognized specialists in the replacement and restoration of teeth. Prosthodontists receive at least 3 years of additional training in an ADA accredited hospital or university-based program after graduating from dental school.  Postgraduate prosthodontic programs include literature reviews, lectures, extensive clinical training and rigorous hands-on laboratory experience.

 

Dentists who advertise as cosmetic dentists or implantologists may not have any additional formal training beyond four years of dental school.  In fact, continuing education in ‘cosmetic/implant dentistry’ is largely unregulated. Patients should understand that there is a significant difference between residency-trained specialists and dentists who have taken a weekend course on reconstructive dental work. The vast majority of general dentists have relatively limited experience with patients missing all of their teeth, or those with more complex and complicated cases.  Prosthodontists deal with complicated cases every day.

 

After an initial comprehensive examination, Drs. Gulbransen and Recksiedler consult with other team members to determine if implants are the right solution and what, if any underlying dental issues need to be addressed to insure the success of the implants.  Communication among team members ensures that every step of the process goes smoothly and the best possible results are achieved.  The teamwork continues long after implant placement.  Follow-up examinations with Dr. Gulbransen, Dr. Recksiedler and other team members are very important.

 

Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler, as the prosthodontists, are the ‘quarterbacks’ of your dental restorative team.  Prosthodontists take a whole-mouth approach to your dental care.  They supervise your treatment from your initial consultations to your follow-up care after treatment and will interact with other dentists, specialists and technicians to coordinate your dental treatment plan.

If you think you may be a candidate for dental implants, please contact our office for an appointment.  Dr. Gulbransen or Dr. Recksiedler will assist you in determining the appropriate treatment plan for your unique situation.  We will work with your surgical specialist [oral surgeon or periodontist] to execute the plan in the most convenient way possible.

 

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