Having planned thousands of dental implants, we often get asked by patients “what implant company do you recommend?” The honest truth is that there are no studies that show that one implant company is better than the other for longevity. It seems that they all hold bone pretty much the same. When choosing a dental implant for our patients we consider the following factors:
- What is the reputation and size of the implant company? There are many dental implant companies in the world. We choose between the three largest implant companies in the world for our patients. The reason for this is pretty simple. If many years from now your implant requires a spare part, like a loose prosthetic screw (the screw that attaches the crown to the implant), chances are you will be able to find the screw for the implant in a large dental implant company. We have seen too many small implant companies go out of business and the implant part become obsolete. Finding spare parts for such implants is next to impossible and the patient is out of luck.
- Can the implant be delivered using a surgical guide? Sometimes placing an implant is like threading a needle. You may have a large nerve below it, tooth roots on either side of it and a thin amount of bone thickness all around it. Sometimes it is very advantages to be able to make a special retainer based on all the three dimensional planning and place the implant exactly as planned.
- Can custom parts be made specifically for you? Some implant companies have what is called “stock abutments” as the foundation for the crown that attaches to the implant. These implant companies do not have the capability of having a “custom abutment” made that fits you exactly. If you are in a coffee shop, look around you. Does anyone look like you? Why would you want implant parts in your head that are not customized to fit you?
- Does the implant company stand behind their work? A few weeks ago, a patient came into the office. After many years of working without any issues, she bit into a toffee and the prosthetic screw (the screw that attaches to the implant) and the custom abutment (foundation of the crown) broke. I looked at her implant information booklet (some implant companies have those-looks like a passport with all implant information on it) and was happy to see that the parts were from a reputable implant company. A phone call to the implant company rep, and voila, a replacement screw and custom abutment free of charge to the patient.
- Know what you are buying. If the implant and the crown are advertised to be less than a ticket to an Adele concert, then chances are you are getting an implant from a not so reputable implant company, you are getting a one-size fits all “stock abutment” and a crown that is not made in North America (yes that happens). Remember, an implant is a post that fuses to your bone and becomes a part of your body. Just as a tattoo of a flying hippopotamus is not such a hot idea (unless you are into that sort of thing), buying a cheap implant isn’t one either.
In conclusion, find yourself a dentist that knows what they are doing, is precise, and is committed to delivering a high quality product and chances are you will receive an implant that you will enjoy a long time.