Choosing a Dental Implant Surgeon
Hello and thank you for taking the time to view our website and watch our videos. I’m Dr. Barry Heaton, a Board Certified periodontist and oral surgeon. My specialty training is in periodontics and dental implants. My practice of periodontics began in 1985 in Houston, Texas. I was the first periodontist in Houston to place dental implants. Since then, I have placed over 6000 implants. This gives me invaluable insight and experience when it comes to dental implants.
The experience I bring to patients in need of implants is considerably more extensive than other dental practices currently placing implants.
I know dental implants are a big decision. I know you want it done quickly, efficiently, with minimal pain and at an affordable cost. One of the important points that I would like people to know is that when it comes to dental implants, experience counts. There is a learning curve with this procedure and it is steep.
A lot of practitioners are now placing implants after a single weekend course. The complications that can occur with minimal training are many and can be severe. If you are considering dental implants, here are three questions to ask a potential practitioner:
1) How many years have you been placing implants?
2) How many implants have you placed?
3) Where did you receive the training necessary to place implants and how extensive was the training? Was the course put on by the implant manufacturer or at a dental education center?
The Europeans began placing dental implants in the early to mid 1980’s. They placed dental implants in hospital outpatient settings. In the United States, these protocols were then begun to modeled. Today, when dental implant placement is done by a skilled oral surgeon, it is a routine procedure done with local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. The tenderness a patient experiences afterwards is often minimal.
Another thing I would like to address is the necessary training necessary and experience to treat dental implants which may start to show bone loss. This is called peri-implantitis. For many years, periodontists have been able to regrow bone around natural teeth that are showing signs of periodontal disease. Our ability to regenerate bone around teeth has been translated to use with dental implants. I have been treating many patients referred by other practitioners to treat a failing dental implant since 1990. If an implant is to be placed, another question to ask the potential dentist placing the implant is if he or she has a protocol for treating bone loss around the implant in case it occurs. My procedure protocol for this type of treatment for bone loss around dental implants has a 95% success rate and up if the patient is referred to me early.