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Dental Bytes by Dr. Omar Abdo

October 27, 2011

Q: I have very bad teeth and I am thinking about implants. I need some help selecting the doctor that I will entrust with handling my case. I see ads showing “Implantology” Experts and discounted implant fees in the same sentence! How do I know who is an expert in this area?

A: “Implantology” is not recognized as a separate specialty by the American Dental Association (ADA). The nine areas of recognized and accredited specialties are: Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Dental Public Health (www.ada.org). Specialty training usually involves 3-6 years of residency at a hospital or University after graduating from dental school.

Board certification through an ADA-accredited specialty board is an additional credential to look for in surveying a dentist’s professional experience and qualifications. The State Board of Dentistry issues and regulates the license to practice dentistry in general (State of Florida has an online resource to check the professional records of doctors), however specialty board certification is an “additional seal of approval” that is achieved by the specialty trained doctor to be an expert in his/her respective field of advanced expertise. The board examination process is governed and regulated by accredited organizations such as the American College of Prosthodontists / American Board of Prosthodontics.

Interaction between two or more specialists is not un-common. It is worth mentioning that highly successful dental implant outcomes are often the result of cooperation between, an Oral Surgeon, a Periodontist and a Prosthodontist or General Dentist working as a team.

As for the discounted dentistry; I will start by saying “Compromise Elsewhere!” and will elaborate on that topic in the future.

Hope this BYTE was helpful….

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