As baby boomers age and the demographics of an aging U.S. society become more noticeable, one thing remains unchanged: the human condition/the human experience. It binds us together like toothpaste as it has done for thousands of years (even before toothpaste tubes). But there are some experiences that we must face alone; amongst them birth, death, and dental work. No one can sit proxy for us entering or exiting the world, and no one can sit in the dental chair on our behalf – regardless of our age, education level, the class within our society or financial standing.
So, when it’s time to have dental implants placed, the first task at hand for most is selecting a Dental Implant Specialist. This can be tricky because there are so few, and they often remain obscure – practicing their trade under many other names including Dental Surgeon, Implantologist, Periodontist, and even General Dentist.
And to complicate matters further, Dentists from various specialties say they are Dental Implant Specialists when the truth is they are not. Regardless of how they package themselves for marketing purposes, one thing matters more than everything else: the experience they have placing dental implants. And that remains the most important consideration for prospective dental implant patients.
As we go thru life, we experience many of the same things as our family members, friends and neighbors; after all, that is the human experience. Most of us crawl, walk, and learn to eat – pretty much in the same manner, at nearly the same age as each other. We get educated, in one form or another, and hopefully, find a way to fit in and to serve society. And if we are fortunate, we find that special person with whom we can share our lives.
But each of us remains incredibly unique and alone when it comes to health and dental care, and choosing the professionals we seek to care for us. One size shoe does not fit all, and all Dental Implant Specialists are certainly not equal. There are good ones, bad ones, great ones and horrible ones. Therefore, we must turn to our experiences in life to help guide us thru the selection process.
How did we even get into this mess? Well, regardless of how successful we are in matters of life (as children, kin, parents, workers, spouses, etc.) eventually it happens; our bodies begin to break down. It happens at a different time, in a different way for each of us, but slowly we begin to fall apart. Some jump on the express train (often the rebels and more carefree spirits), and others (the people who treat their body as a temple) take the slow boat to decrepitation. Few if any escape it, and when they do, it is usually because tragedy robs them of the full longevity of their lives – like in a car crash or homicide.
For the rest of us, maybe it’s the skin from too much sun or the stomach from too much food. Or the liver from too much alcohol or the mind from too many drugs. Or the lungs and heart from too much smoke/pollution. Whatever your poison or ailment that starts things in decline, most of us meet that day eventually. And along the way, something else often happens. We get cavities. We break teeth. And if we do not floss and brush religiously and have good genetics, personal habits and luck, we lose our teeth. Sometimes one at a time, and sometimes in groups. Sometimes early in one’s life, and for others, late in life.
Whatever our experiences in life and personal paths were chosen, adults tend to end up in the same place eventually – The Yellow Pages or Internet seeking a Dental Implant Specialist. Many find these Professionals to be comparable to Mechanics, Plumbers, Carpenters, etc. as they are skilled with their hands and minds, and often must do dirty work that most of us could never do, for one reason or another. And these Masters of the Mouth come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and ethnicities. They are found throughout the world, but are much more prevalent and easily found in fully developed nations, and Dental Tourism enclaves like Costa Rica, Thailand, and Mexico.
So, how do you choose a Dental Implant Specialist? Well, if you are wise, you choose one carefully. Why? Because choosing an experienced one matters! Why? Because even on a bad day, he/she is likely much more capable of completing your needed dental work to your satisfaction than a less experienced Specialist – even on their best day. Dental implant surgery is a serious matter, not one to take lightly, and not something best left to chance. It’s not brain surgery, but in many ways, it’s just as difficult and can have a similarly profound impact on our quality of life.
To get the highest quality care for the money you have available to spend, you may be best served seeking a Surgeon that lives where labor costs are not too high. For instance, Costa Rica. The truth is you need to be a 1%’er or very well to do in the U.S. to afford the BEST Doctors. In Costa Rica, the average American can access and afford the BEST Doctors available, easily. Interestingly, these Cream of the Crop, overseas Doctors tend to have more experience than their counterparts in the U.S. as they typically handle a larger caseload.
- What is the Dentist’s/Surgeon’s specialty?
- How many years have they been practicing Dentistry, and placing dental implants?
- How many dental implants have they placed?
- Which brands of implants have they placed, and which implants do they currently use?
- What is their failure rate? (How often do implants they place not “take?)
While there are obviously many more important questions to ask, these are some basics and can help the average person separate the wheat from the chaff. If you need further assistance choosing a Dental Surgeon or a Dental Implant Specialist, please email me at [email protected] and I will gladly assist.