How is it that general dentists, oral surgeons, and periodontists all do implants? Who should I go see if I need an implant?
All dentists possesing a degree of DDS or DMD and a license to practice dentistry are allowed by law to place implants, however, the science of implantology is one of the most demanding aspects of general dentistry and requires extensive knowledge that can only be obtained by additional study and training.
The American Dental Association and the Board of Dentistry do not recognize Implantology as a specialty in dentistry, and it is only taught to a limited extent in dental school.
As dental implants are getting more successful and popular, the percentage of general dentists that are doing implant surgery is increasing. Periodontists and oral surgeons are also involved as part or an interdiciplinary team in the surgical placement of implants.
The most important detail is the need for correct diagnosis and treatment planning. This will create a blueprint for treatment that will be functional, cosmetic and comfortable. Only a properly trained dentist in both the placement and the restoration of implants can do that. It is my strong belief that a properly trained general dentist is the most qualified professional to provide such a treatment plan.
There are organizations dedicated to advancing the science of implantology that provide certification as a means to demonstrate knowledge in the field such as the ICOI and the ABOI. Anyone needing implants may want to inquire into the credentials held by the dentist.