So you need a dental implant or maybe several, but you don’t have a dentist currently. Like most people, you turn to Google to do some research. What are dental implants? What dentists or specialists do them in the Peoria, IL area? How much do they cost? Have you found yourself researching online and wondering what the heck you should do? There is so much information out there, and so many dentists with information about dental implants on their websites. Where do you begin?

I believe choosing the right dentist for your dental implants is THE most important thing you can do. Making the wrong choice could be an INCREDIBLY COSTLY mistake, as implants done in the wrong hands could end up costing you THOUSANDS more than had imagined. I’ve written out some various factors for you to consider when choosing a dentist that will hopefully ensure you make a proper choice so that you can feel comfortable with whoever you choose as your dentist.

1. Do Not Choose Your Dentist On Cost!

I cannot emphasize this enough! In a world where there are coupons for this and deals for that, dental implants are NOT a place where you should look to cut corners and select an office because their prices are low! Dental implant surgery is incredibly complex and difficult, and thus your implant dentist should be chosen on skill, quality, and comfort with the dentist. NOT PRICE! If you were having your knee replaced, would you simply choose the cheapest orthopedic surgeon in town, or would you want someone with a lot of experience, top notch surgical skills, and great bedside manner? Someone with great attributes like that does not (and should not) come cheap. Be willing to pay for the quality that you need on dental work such as dental implants. You are trusting the dentist to operate on you and take good care of your jawbone, your gums, and the neighboring teeth, and not leave you worse off than when you came in. Your health and safety should definitely trump price!

2. Choose A Dentist That Has Financing Options To Work Within Your Budget

Now I said in the previous section to not choose based on price, but you ABSOLUTELY should choose a dentist based on their ability to work within your budget! Dental implants are an expensive investment that can cost thousands of dollars. The average American does not have thousands of dollars in savings that can be allocated to pay for treatment, and dental insurances commonly provide little help for these treatments. Therefore, a dental office that focuses on dental implants should have options for their patients to provide financing to make the treatments affordable within a patient’s monthly budget. Our office, for instance, has several different financing companies we work with, and someone can finance their implant treatment to pay back over six months or up to 8 years! This can make several thousand dollars of treatment cost less than $100/month! This allows our patients to get the treatment they WANT now and to pay it back over a reasonable amount of time that their finances allow, rather than having to wait.

3. Choose A Dentist That Is Properly Educated On Dental Implants

Dental implants are very advanced technology and the procedures used to surgically place them as well as restore them with teeth require a great deal of education. It’s also very important that it is excellent education. You don’t want someone attending a single weekend course that trains a few hours and then is ready place dental implants the next week. What you want is someone who has dedicated hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to properly educate themselves in all aspects of implant dentistry. Dental implants are a rapidly evolving aspect of dentistry, and a dentist must CONSTANTLY be training and learning to keep up with the rapid changes. Our dentists are involved in MULTIPLE dental implant specific organizations and attend hundreds of hours of continuing education each year to maintain our reputation as one of the top dental implant providers in the Peoria, IL area.

4. Choose A Dentist That Is Experienced In Placing Dental Implants

No one wants to have a surgical procedure done by a doctor that isn’t experienced. Dental implants should be no different. Patients should feel comfortable and at ease with whoever is providing their dental implant surgery. It’s very comforting to know that a dentist has placed thousands of dental implants, and thus has the knowledge and experience to provide you with a top notch result. You want a dentist that has a lot of experience placing dental implants, and also does so with a very high success rate. Don’t be afraid to ask a dentist how many dental implants they have placed and what their success rate with them is.

5. Choose A Dentist That Utilizes Dental Photography

A poorly matched and shaped porcelain crown

Here is a case where a patient had a dentist make her front tooth crown for her because their price was lowest in town. The image on the right shows the result of that. The dentist did not take photos of her smile, and thus the tooth color does not remotely match her other teeth. The dentist also used a cheap dental lab, and thus the tooth is not shaped properly and looks very unusual in her smile. The image on the right is after Dr. Hudson corrected her smile with a new tooth that seamlessly blends in with her natural teeth.

I strongly believe that every dentist should be utilizing photography. Two reasons why this is so important. First, the mouth is a very difficult place for the patient to see and understand what is going on. Photography allows the dentist to properly educate a patient and explain what is going on with their exact situation. This allows you as the patient to have the best possible understanding of what is going on in your mouth! Second, photography allows for the best possible cosmetic outcome. The dentist’s ultimate goal should be to have a dental implant tooth look exactly like the rest of your teeth in your mouth. Photography allows the dentist the best communication possible with the dental lab specialist whose job it is to make your custom tooth that connects to your dental implant. Someone who doesn’t take photographs to aid in this communication is just guessing what your tooth will look like, and therefore is less likely to get as good of a result. Photography ensures the best possible cosmetic result on your dental implant!

6. Choose A Dentist That Has Great Before/After Case Examples

This is very simple to obtain. Ask to see if they have examples of similar cases that they have done in the past. Many times these are displayed on a dentist’s website, but some also will have albums in their office that you can see as well. You want to know that the dentist is capable of providing cosmetic outcomes with their dental implants.

7. Choose A Dentist That Has Great Online Reviews/Testimonials

Also very simple to find out with a bit of research. Read up on the potential dentist and how other patients have valued their treatment. You usually can find plenty of feedback by looking at the office’s Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and Facebook reviews. You will want to know that others have had great experiences and great cosmetic outcomes at the office you are looking at.

Hopefully one or all of these tips can help you find a dentist that you are comfortable with and can provide you a great result with your potential dental implant(s). It is a big investment in yourself to start the dental implant journey, but one that can be so incredibly rewarding for years to come. If we at East Peoria Dental Group can help you in any way, please feel free to call us at (309)699-5521 and schedule an consultation to go over your options!