- 20 REASONS FOR PLACING YOUR OWN IMPLANTS - DO YOU HAVE THE SKILLS TO BE SUCESSFUL?
20 reasons why you must place your own implants if you want to perform the best dentistry for your patients and be competitive in today's Dental Marketplace.
IT'S BETTER FOR YOUR PATIENT!
1. Patients want implants and they want you to place them because you are the one they trust! Patients don't want to wait weeks to be seen by a specialist and then pay higher specialist's fees, if they can avoid it.
2. Placing implants inspire us to appreciate, maintain and regenerate bone. The more you become involved with implants, the more you will focus on bone and it's survival in the patients mouth. All of us grow old, but none of us want to look old. Bone loss in the Maxilla and Mandible result in decreased vertical dimension (short face syndrome), sunken facial features, premature wrinkles and thinner lips. Save the face...graft after extractions & place Dental Implants for your patients oral health and general well-being.
3. Dental implants are better than traditional bridgework. You know the drill....:) a single tooth implant vs. stripping the enamel off healthy teeth or if large restorations exist, re-coring first and dealing with the need for root canals before, or worse, after the cementation. Which procedure would you want performed in your mouth?
4. Patient convenience - Many of your older patients are already sick of going from one doctors office.... to another, ...... and another. It's a big hassle for many older & retired patients to find a new office...write another health history...get used to new staff members and wait forever in specialists waiting rooms. They will have a long term allegiance for the practice that "Does It All". This helps develop a solid Patient base for your practice.
5. Help prevent "the curse of Dentistry" ....you know what I mean, those lower full dentures for the over 70 crowd (they can't wear them and you hate making them). Place implants for these patients when they are younger and save their bone.
6. Quite a few molar endo, post and crown restorations have to be extracted prematurely. Very few molar implant crowns fail prematurely.
IT'S BETTER FOR DENTISTRY:
7. Dental schools are bringing Implantology into the curriculum. Dental Implants are rapidly becoming the "standard of care". When you think about it, the "standard of care" is a constantly evolving, dynamic process. In the 90's, traditional 3 piece wide body dental implants and bar retained dentures were accepted as the "standard of care", but placing 4 mini implants to support a lower denture was considered substandard dentistry by many. Today, 10's of thousands of happy patients are enjoying secure chewing comfort, from the same "4 on the floor" mini procedure. This is one reason I say the current evolution in Dental Implantology is as dynamic as a "run-a-way" train. ...All Aboard !!!
8. Implant technology is improving. Competition among implant companies is mind boggling. Have you noticed?...Everybody is making mini implants now. Each company trying to out-do the competition with a new feature or design, improving our ease of placement and the longevity of the implant restoration.
9. European dentists place their own implants. This may not be motivation for you, but many years ago, when I read that 50% of European dentists placed their own implants and only 10% of US general practitioners placed their own implants, I had to ask myself, why? Are U.S. GP's not as talented as they are? Hopefully my 'bone supported surgical stent' and the experiences I have to share, will help in a very small way to even out those numbers.
10. It is the right thing to do for Dentistry. Traditional Full Dentures are a 200+ year old technology. It is time to move on.
11. Grafting materials and techniques are improving, making it easier to learn and become proficient. For example, the crestal approach to the sinus is easier to perform than a lateral window. New surgical instruments are constantly coming on line making this so. Grafting research also continues, reflecting on infection and initial stabilization concerns. One day, extracting a tooth and placing an immediately solidifying graft material with an implant and provisional crown the same day will be a reality. (see U.S. Patent App. 20070087031 Ashman; Arthur; et al. April 19, 2007) Those of my generation may not see it, but Doctors just starting their career will want to be on hand when that train pulls into the station ! So buy a ticket and get on board now !!!
IT'S BETTER FOR YOU:
12. Placing your own implants gives you numerous treatment options you never had before. This fact results in a more profitable business & a better quality of dentistry for your patients. Win...Win...
THIS JUST IN....."STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS MAY BE A THING OF THE PAST" Just imagine during your career...no more cavities to fill and no more root canals to post and crown! What are you going to do to make a living?? ... prophys? OK... I'm really exaggerating here as researchers have been working on this for decades and there were always risks that prevented it's full scale use. And there are always going to be patient awareness and compliance issues. But I wonder...what if, this time, it turns out a mouthwash actually does change the way we practice dentistry? Might an Implant Dental Practice someday become more valuable and easier to sell than the traditional, large, Family Practice business model? I'm just sayin'.......
14. More and more general dentists are placing their own implants. You need to keep up to stay competitive. It's a run-away train, remember?
15. Placing implants encourages us to increase bone volume utilizing simple grafting techniques. Good for the patient and good for the dentist. Creating new healthy bone tissue, reshaping a ridge that can now be a foundation for fixed implant restorations, is one of the most satisfying procedures a dentist can perform. I love going to the office when I have grafting/implant cases on the schedule. mod resins....not so much.
16. Implant and grafting continuing education courses are 100 times more intriguing than posterior resin and 73rd generation bonding courses.
17. Implantology is just plain FUN!
18. When you advertise, marketing yourself as an Implant practice separates you from the local competition.
20. Thinking of retiring soon? If you think about it, selling your practice is a lot like selling your home - you need to increase your curb appeal in order to fetch top dollar. A contemporary, high tech office is only part of the appeal. The dental IQ of your 30 year old patient base will be reflected in the goodwill component of the sale. In addition, placing your own implants over the last years before retirement will increase your yearly production without "working harder". When a prospective buyer sees that the practice is still growing it will be a more attractive purchase for them and more profitable for you. Increase the value of your practice - place your own implants.
21. Have you ever played the hero and tried to save a bombed out second molar with endo, post & crown only to see it crack & abscess at the bifurcation in a few years? Of course we should manage complications with consent forms but it still beats me up emotionally when it happens. 25 Years ago it was much worse because it put the patient in the fast lane to a free-end partial. But today we can offer the patient a discount on the procedure and graft and implant. It saves the day in more ways than one!
Implants are absolutely the best way to replace missing teeth. It is the best service you can provide for your patients. Help your patients and help yourself. Take control of the entire process and place your own implants.
Next up...BONUS ROUND ... AND A VERY HONEST QUESTION....
DO I HAVE THE SKILLS TO PERFORM IMPLANT SURGERY SUCCESSFULLY?
Well....lets see. As a practicing general dentist you must be very very good at drilling holes! All day long we drill parallel walls for our cavity and our C & B preps, and we drill holes for our endo access cavities and open our canals with pesos. So who is better at drilling holes than you are? The periodontist? The oral surgeon? I don't think so..... The technical skills required for placing implants is right there in your hands. Implantology all boils down to drilling little pilot holes in precisely the spot they need to be, so the implant, abutment and crown all end up exactly where they need to be.
So maybe we should rephrase the question a bit. Do I have the confidence in my skills to perform implant surgery successfully?
Like every dental procedure we have learned, confidence is built from the training we receive, exercises we practice and the successes of our initial attempts
My first suggestion is to take 5 or more "intro to implant" courses that you see advertised everywhere. Don't buy a $6000. kit from the first course. Check out 3 or 4 companies before you invest. Start with narrow/medium diameter and work up to larger sizes. Make sure 50% of your courses are "hands on". You will need a couple of grafting courses as well to get started. My favorite one was Dr. Russo's.
There are simple exercises you can perform in your own lab if you are unsure of yourself. You can make a practice model of your patient, to test the accuracy of your surgical stent. I still do this, especially if I'm placing 4 or more implants in one appointment. The model exercise will build your confidence before surgery. More on this in the Members pages.
I can also help identify excellent candidates to start with. This is important because your immediate goal is to place one, single-tooth implant restoration successfully. Then 5, then 10. Once you have 10 implants under your belt, you will be so full of confidence, the enthusiasm you feel will be both undeniable and intoxicating. You will be well on your way...enjoy the ride!
Why should I spend my time to hear what you have to say about placing implants?
I'm glad you asked! I will answer that question by relating a true story. In September, 2005, I attended an advanced, three day mini implant seminar at the medical campus in Oklahoma City sponsored by Imtec - then 3M - now nobody .... thanks 3M :( Back then there were many doctors unconvinced mini implants actually worked. It was hands-on including "four on the floor" denture procedures with live patients. A well known prosthodontist from the southwest, Dr. Charles English, was the main speaker. When discussing the high success rate he had when placing mini implants, everyone was shocked when a doctor in the audience yelled out the question, "so why should we believe what you are telling us?" Dr. English was only stumped for a moment when he slowly turned toward the doctor and said, "Because I have been placing implants for 25 years.......How many have you placed?" The guy never said another word.
Even though I had been placing mini's for many years, I still positioned myself in Dr. English's back pocket for the next three days and became a sponge. I soaked up every bit of knowledge Dr. English was willing to share. He was unlike a lot of "superstar" lecturers who seem more interested in showing off their "greatest hits" than actually teaching you anything to make your next case easier.
Dr. English shared with me 25 years of experience, hints and secrets that I still rely on today. He put his ego aside and shared a few of his failures and how he recovered from them,... something you seldom find on the lecture circuit today. Unfortunately, Dr. English lost his fight with cancer before we could continue our lessons. Hoping I can be half the teacher he was, I would like to share my experiences with those just starting out.
After 20+ years of restoring implants and placing more than a thousand implants utilizing my patented surgical stent placement system, I am able to offer techniques, hints and maybe a few secrets to help you on your journey.
A COUPLE OF XRS:
Handle difficult implant sites with ease and your Implant Practice will grow. Our bone supported surgical stent helps you succeed with tight placements between roots and the anterior surface of the maxillary sinus. I've performed hundreds of cases like this....they are VERY common and may be handled easily with a bone supported surgical stent and good technique! This is a 3M (Imtec) 2.9 X 16mm one piece implant.
Another type of case we see frequently....congenitally missing laterals. Usually treated with ortho, block grafting and standard size implants many patients decline treatment due to the high cost and time investment. Good skills and a NDI, allow us to solve the challenge at a much lower cost. This case is 12 years old now and doing fine. 2.4X15mm (Imtec/3m) one piece implant. I don't think anyone would try this one freehand.