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How Do I Become a Dental Implant Specialist?

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  • Written By: T. Webster
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 12 May 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A doctoral degree in dentistry and additional specialized training are required for those who want to become a dental implant specialist. Dental assistants also can specialize in implants without earning a doctoral degree, though they cannot perform the actual surgery. The assistant’s primary role is instead to support the dentist performing the implant surgery.

Dentists who specialize in implants often replace patients’ teeth after they are lost to failed root canals, injuries or tooth decay. Dental implants typically require placing a rod in the jaw to serve as a base for an artificial tooth or several teeth. After the rod is secured to the jaw, several months of healing are usually necessary before the artificial tooth is added.

The first step to take to become a dental implant specialist who performs the surgery is to obtain a doctoral degree in dentistry. The exact title of the degree can vary, depending on the country in which you live. Generally, getting a degree in dentistry requires a bachelor’s degree followed by four years of dental school. Passing exams and obtaining a license are additional requirements.

Once the foundational degree requirements are in place, you can begin additional training to become a dental implant specialist. Courses in dental implant procedures are offered in traditional classroom settings or with a mentor in an existing dental practice. It also is possible to complete some of the training online, but some hands-on training is usually required.

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Coursework for a dentist who wants to become a dental implant specialist tends to focus on the technical skills needed to place implants. Other courses include learning the materials used for dental implants, surgery practices and protocols, bone mapping, and types of drills that are used. Other courses might include a live implant surgery demonstration or implant placement on models. Courses that include information on how to explain the procedure and discuss it with patients also are important.

A dental assistant also can become a dental implant specialist. It is important for dental assistants to fully understand implant procedures so they can best assist the dentist and clients. In addition to having a degree or training appropriate for dental assisting, taking additional classes and receiving on-the-job training are helpful for specializing in dental implants.

Courses that include information on the history of dental implants, current trends and the pros and cons of dental implants are often helpful for dental assistants. Some of the cons might include understanding potential complications. Other training can include educating clients and answering common questions.

Dentists sometimes require other support staff members to participate in some form of training. A receptionist, for example, interacts with patients and should understand dental implant terminology well enough to communicate with clients. Office staff also will need to understand how to schedule procedures and follow-up visits and handle billing questions related to dental implants.

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