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Dental implants: who do I choose to place mine?

It seems that almost every dentist claims to place dental implants. With so many choices, patients are often lost as to whom they should.  As the old saying goes, “Buyer Beware!”

Not all dentists are the same. Some are family general dentists, while others have gone through addition training and residency at an accredited dental education program by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). CODA is the authoritative institution responsible for making sure a dental school meets all the standards of dental care and education.

There are only 9 dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association and CODA. Those that relate to dental implants are oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontics (gum specialists), and prosthodontics (oral rehabilitation specialists through the use of implants, bridges, and dentures). Note that cosmetic dentistry, in itself is not a specialty but, falls under the category of prosthodontics.

While oral surgeons and periodontists may be great surgeons, they rarely consider, or reconstruct the final prosthetic crown and bridge (or denture) that attaches to the dental implant. It’s like building the foundation of the house without the final architectural blueprints. This can lead to mis-angled implants or worse, unusable implants.

A prosthodontist has the final architectural blue-print ready before the foundation is laid. This ensures that the dental implants you have invested money in is useable and is in the optimal location for your completed crown, bridge, or denture.

Furthermore, not all prosthodontist are the same! Some have undergone the extra step to become Board Certified. The equivalent analogy is seeing a medical surgeon who has been Board Certified vs one that either has failed or does not even care/dare to take the board certifying exam. Dr. Huang is a Dual-Board Certified Prosthodontist. He is one of the few prosthodontists that have challenged and successfully fulfilled the requirements of two separate Boards, the American Board of Prosthodontists, and the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.