Dental implants are a long-term restoration option for missing or damaged teeth. Because it is such a permanent and fairly involved procedure, finding the most qualified and affordable dentist possible is a vital part of the process.

Don’t simply choose the first dentist you find when it comes to a procedure like placing your dental implants. There are many factors to consider when looking for your implant dentist, and your health is far too important not to do your research. Your smile is a very meaningful part of your life, and your new implants will be with you for many years to come.

Here are some important things to consider while choosing your implant dentist:

1. Training
Lots of dental care professionals offer the placement of dental implants, but not all are equally qualified. Some have only taken a quick weekend training course but have not any real extensive education or instruction in the procedure. Others have comprehensive knowledge of the implant process and techniques, are up to date with continuing education, and are able to demonstrate their understanding.

2. Experience
It is sensible to ask questions of each dentist you meet with. Find out where and how they received their education in implant placement procedures. Ask how many implant procedures they have performed, and what their success rate with this procedure has been. Even better, they may have before and after testimonials and photos available for you to browse through. A combination of high-quality training with plenty of experience are a good sign you’ve found a good implant dentist.

3. Feel comfortable with your dentist
The most important factor when choosing your dental care professional is trust, and you should feel comfortable with your implant dentist. If you’re unsure about the dentist for any reason, don’t hesitate to move on and interview others. The right professional will listen to your concerns as a patient’s, and answer your questions to the fullest.

4. Like the office staff & office appearance
The office staff should be welcoming and positive towards patients. A clean and tidy office is always a good indicator of a conscientious dentist and staff and is crucial to the outcome and success of your implant procedure. You shouldn’t see anything like dirty instruments or gloves about the exam room, and your records should be available and kept on file. Keeping an orderly office shows that both the dentist and office staff care about their patients and also their working environment.

5. Financing care
Good dentists will be upfront with patients about their eligibility for different procedures and potential costs. Your dentist shouldn’t try to sell procedures that you do not need or are not interested in, and should be able to readily answer your questions about the costs involved. Ask your dentist about options for different payment plans that are offered by their office. In most cases, there are a variety of affordable options and financing available to cover the procedure.

6. Insurance coverage
Take the time to contact your insurance company before you move forward with any major dental procedure. Details should also be discussed with the dentist you choose for the procedure. It is possible that insurance may cover part or all of the implant procedure, depending on the insurance plan and cause of tooth loss. It is important to be aware of the final out-of-pocket cost in case additional work needs to be done along the way.

7. Pay for quality
A good rule of thumb when selecting a dentist for a major procedure like placing dental implants is to avoid discount offers. Although cost is a concern, there are other factors that are far more important than a small discount. And remember, in most cases, the long-term benefits of getting dental implants far outweighs the initial cost.
Your health, comfort, and well-being should come first. In general, a dentist that you can trust, has plenty of training and experience, and upholds a good reputation in their community is far more valuable than taking a risk with one that offers the lowest price.

Again, don’t be afraid to check out several dentists in your area before selecting one that you are comfortable with performing the procedure. You may have to interview a few bad ones to know the right one when you see it!