Choosing an Implantologist
Dental Implantology relates to the placing and restoration of dental implants in people who have lost some or all of their teeth.In the United States any dentist can place and restore dental implants. In many countries this is restricted to those with advanced training. In Canada for example, dentists need 72 hours of Continuing Education before they can place implants. Many dentists get their implant placement training in intensive short term courses, but these are often only a few days in length so relatively little is taught about treatment planning, post operative care or restorative therapy for implants.
Implantology is becoming a major part of dental education these days and several specialty groups do place implants. This now includes Oral Surgeons, Periodontists, Prosthodontists and even Endodontists. The full time training for these specialty programs extends for 2 or 3+ years of which implantology is secondary to the main subject. Of course, the amount of training on implant therapy varies with each program.
In this country, at the present time, very few programs are devoted entirely to implantology. Obviously the more training and more experience a person has with implantology, the better. How long have they been placing implants? How many have they placed? How many do they restore in a year? These are all reasonable questions to ask of someone offering implant therapy.
There are other factors to take into consideration as well. One of the most important is whether the person placing the implant has training and experience in restoring implants. It’s critical for the implants to be in the optimal position to support the restoration for it to appear and function optimally. Many people placing implants have little or no interest in managing the final restorative therapy, yet provision of and care for the final restorative result is critical in the survival of both the implants and the restorations placed on them.
Dr. Peter Hunt was one of the first faculty members for the Dental Implant Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Later he became Clinical Professor of Periodontics at Penn. Later still he became Professor of Restorative Dentistry, Director of Implantology and Periodontal Prosthesis, and Post Graduate Director at Nova South Eastern University Dental School in Florida. He has presented many Continuing Education programs on Implantology in the United States and Canada as well as overseas in the last few years.
He hosts an international website on Implantology with many case reports from around the world, including many of his cases treated in this office. Dr Hunt gets referrals for implant therapy from many dentists. Quite a few of them have asked Dr Hunt to provide implant therapy for themselves. Many referred cases have the restorative therapy provided by the referring doctor with guidance and support from Dr Hunt. However, there are some referring doctors who ask him to both place and restore the implants. Dr Hunt provides training courses on implant therapy in his office for dentists wanting to advance their skillset in implant therapy.