The process of getting dental implants actually involves two steps: having the tooth implant—the small titanium cylinder—placed in the jaw so that the bone can fuse with it and having a restoration placed on the osseointegrated tooth implant. Different specialists handle the different aspects of the treatment, so you will need to see a periodontist for implant placement and a general dentist or prosthodontist for the replacement crown, which is called the restoration.
A periodontist has expertise in the gum tissue and the underlying bone structures and therefore is well-positioned to assess a patient for the likelihood of dental implant success and to place the dental implants in the jaw. These specialists routinely provide this intervention, and they are familiar with the optimal conditions for successful osseointegration and long-term dental implant stability. They can make recommendations for any necessary additional treatment, such as bone grafting, that will improve the ultimate treatment outcomes.
The periodontist will collaborate with the dentist who is preparing the restoration to achieve the patient’s desired outcomes. Dentists who are experienced in the design of restorations such as crowns, dental bridges or dentures—any of which may be supported by dental implants—can emphasize the patient’s aesthetic goals, which may involve having the restoration match the rest of the smile or to improve on the shade of the teeth. The dentist may recommend complementary treatment such as teeth whitening to match the restoration, as well.
Although a patient must work with two different providers to get dental implants, the benefits from the end result are well worth the extra effort. Dental implants are more durable and functional because they are structurally complete, consisting of both an artificial root (implant) and prosthetic crown (restoration).
Our knowledgeable, friendly staff will be happy to give you any information you need about the dental implant treatment process, including the logistics of coordinating between two different providers to get your full restoration. Call us today!