How to Find an Implant Dentist

There is much a consumer must know before selecting the right dentist to perform their dental implant surgery. Always remember that you’re not just purchasing an implant, but the training of the surgeon and the expertise to properly place them. Rest assured that Dr. Caplanis will take excellent care of you, and our service is backed by our unprecedented 5 year warranty.

Questions to ask your implant surgeon

  • Where did you receive your training?
  • How many implants do you place on a monthly basis?
  • What type of guarantee do you offer?

Training

A well trained implant surgeon will have received their training in a full time residency program devoted to dental surgery. Despite the fact that there are some very talented non-residency trained dentists that have perfected their technique to place implants, there is no comparison to a residency trained specialist. Non-residency trained dentists receive very limited education, typically from weekend courses which usually don’t even offer “hands on” training. Patients must beware. Implant surgery can be a complex procedure which often requires the expertise of a residency trained specialist especially when complications occur. Dr. Caplanis has spent a total of 6 years following the mandatory four years of dental school in three different full time residency programs to master implant dentistry.

Experience

Adequate training is the first requirement. But to perfect the “art” of implant surgery, an implant surgeon must have a lot of experience, which can only come from performing implant surgery frequently and on a routine basis. Repetition is the key. And the only way to achieve the repetition is to devote your practice to this procedure. An experienced dental implant surgeon should perform a minimum of 15-20 implants per month. That’s barely one per day. Most Periodontists, and Oral Surgeons, despite their excellent training, and recognition as “specialists” in this discipline, never even come close to reaching this requirement. Non-residency trained dentists with weekend course training place even less. Dr. Caplanis places approximately 500 implants per year, or 40-50/month and has been doing so for over 20 years. Our experience is unique, and what sets our practice apart.

Awards and recognitions

Training and experience are the minimum requirements. An excellent implant surgeon is also recognized as such by his peers. Dr. Caplanis has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific and clinical articles on implant dentistry, including contributions to text books. He maintains a part time faculty appointment at Loma Linda University, where he is involved with teaching implant surgery to Residents. He frequently lectures on various implant related topics and as such, is recognized both nationally as well as internationally for his expertise. He is also a double board certified specialist, as well as Past President and an honored fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Guarantee

A well trained and experienced implant surgeon will put their money where their mouth is and offer a written guarantee for their work. While it is true that every patient is different, an experienced surgeon knows when to place an implant and when not to place an implant by recognizing patients that have a high risk for a negative outcome. The success of titanium dental implants is well researched and documented. When implants fail soon after they are placed, it is most often due to surgical error. Dr. Caplanis offers an unprecedented 5 year warranty on his implant treatment which is why people from around the country come to see him and why dentists refer their friends and family.

How not to select an implant surgeon:

  • Don’t see the surgeon that advertises constantly. An excellent surgeon doesn’t need to advertise.
  • Don’t pick the cheapest surgeon in town. They’ll only place a cheap implant.
  • Don’t be a guinea pig for your dentist. Complications can be serious, even life threatening.

The consequences of making a bad choice can be serious. The following pictures demonstrate the problems that can arise when implants are placed by inadequately trained surgeons or surgeons that lack adequate experience. These terrible situations were referred to Dr. Caplanis by medical malpractice attorneys for his expert opinion evaluation.

dental-implant-xrays
These implants were placed completely through the nerve canal leading to permanent numbness of the lips, cheeks and face due to improper diagnosis, and surgical error by the treating dentist. The position of the nerve canal was misinterpreted by the treating dentist.

dental-implant-infection dental-implant-surgery
A poorly placed implant can cause severe gum disease. Notice the red and inflamed gums on the left. The implant was placed completely through the bone (instead of within it) and almost into the nose. The treating dentist failed to understand basic anatomy. Repair surgery was required in order to remove the implant as well as the adjacent teeth which were damaged from the poor fitting crowns.

dental-implant-xray dental-implant-misalign
This implant was misaligned and therefore damaged the root of the adjacent molar tooth which as a result, required root canal treatment. Due to the misalignment, the crown that was placed on the implant was nonfunctional and very unaesthetic, as seen on the right. After only 2 years in the mouth, due to the misalignment, the implant eventually fractured and had to be surgically removed.

dental-implant-before dental-implant-after
These implants were placed with a complete disregard of the adjacent gum tissues. Although the implants are stable and healthy within the bone, they are not restorable aesthetically.