How to Choose the Right Implant Dentist

How to Choose the Right Implant Dentist

Once you’ve decided to replace your missing teeth with dental implants, you’ll need to find a dental practitioner to perform the procedure.  Even if you already have a relationship with the dentist who helps you maintain your oral health, it’s important to make sure they have the qualifications and experience needed to perform dental implant surgery as well. Whether you’re starting from the beginning or you already have someone in mind, here are some things to consider when choosing a dental implant surgeon. 


Start with a referral

Everyone needs dental work at some point in their lives. And even if you don’t know anyone in particular who has had dental implant surgery, ask your colleagues, friends, or family members if they know of anyone who has. Someone’s mother, cousin, or co-worker will know someone who knows someone. Getting a referral can help get the ball rolling. But remember, a referral is just a starting place. It’s still important to do your research to ensure they’re a good fit for you. 



Dental implants require extensive experience and knowledge, and it’s essential that you research the qualifications of any dental implant surgeon you’re considering. Dental implantology is not typically taught in standard dental schools, so although having a dental license is crucial, it’s not enough on its own. Look for a dentist who has participated in specialized training programs. Most dentists will list their qualifications on their website, and you can do further research to ensure that their education is top-tier. Be sure to look not only at their education, but also the professional organizations they belong to. 



If a dentist has received training qualification through a quality program, chances are they required significant experience to obtain that certification. For example, a quick search online will reveal that Mastership at the International Academy of Implantology requires a full one-year fellowship program and 50 implant case reports, including a range of different types of cases, so any dentist with that qualification will have at least that much experience. When interviewing dentists, you can also ask how many successful dental implant cases they perform each year, and what their success rate is. 


Recent education/training

Dental technology changes every year, sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ways.  If you’re looking for an implant specialist, it’s important to find one who stays up-to-date with the latest innovations in dental implant technology. The more committed a dentist is to staying current in their field, the higher the likelihood you’ll have good experience and a successful outcome.  Ask about recent conferences or training programs your dentist has participated in. If their most recent education or training in dental implants was more than two years ago, they may not be quite up-to-date in their field. 


The dental consultation 

Once you’re satisfied with a dentist’s education and experience, schedule a consultation so you can get a feel for their demeanor and their practice. Although a great deal of information can be communicated by phone or found online, in-person consultations provide an opportunity to get a feel for a person in a way nothing else can. How does the staff treat you? Does the office feel calm or chaotic?  Does the dentist answer your questions patiently, or do you feel rushed? Even if you can’t put your finger on why you feel particularly uncomfortable or at ease during the consultation, it’s important to trust your instincts and your feelings. Any kind of dental work can make you feel vulnerable, and the more comfortable you feel about your dental implant surgeon, the better. 


Patient reviews

When you find a dentist you’re comfortable with and whose qualifications you trust to perform your dental implant surgery, look through their online reviews and search for those who have had dental implants placed by this dentist. Also, ask the dentist if they have any patients who might be willing to talk to you about their experience. Other patients will be able to give you an idea of what to expect from the dentist through each stage of the process. 


Additional information to consider when choosing a dental implant surgeon

A great dentist is worth the effort it takes to get to them, but if they’re too far away, or if their fees are too high, you may not be happy with your decision. Before committing to a particular dental implant specialist, consider the following factors that could impact your overall experience:

  • Is the location of the practice convenient for you?
  • Do their office hours fit with your schedule?
  • What is the cost of the dental implants?
  • What is included in the cost of the implants? (Crowns, follow-up visits, tooth and root extraction?)
  • Does the dental practice accept your insurance?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A great dental implant specialist will want you to be as comfortable as possible, so they should be happy to give you any information they can to help put you at ease. 


Looking for dental implants in San Diego? Call University Dental today!


Dental implants can be life-changing. By allowing you to eat the foods you love and smile without embarrassment, dental implants will boost your confidence and make you feel like you again. At University Dental, we’re committed to patient education and to working in close partnership with you throughout the whole implant process to improve your chances of success. For more information about the dental implant procedure or to schedule a consultation, call University Dental at (619) 582-4224.