What you should know. . .
In it's most simplistic form, a dental implant is a small Titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. It is allowed to heal there for a few months and then your dentist can build a tooth or set of teeth to replace the teeth that you have lost. Any dentist may place a dental implant and there is no specialty that regulates dental implants.
In it's most complex form, a dental implant is placed by a dentist to anchor a tooth or a set of teeth in a very specific and technological manner guided by very sophisticated Prosthodontic principles. The exact position of the implant is critical to the success of the entire procedure and the restoration that is attached to the implant is a challenge for the dentist in of itself. I have been placing and restoring dental implants for over 25 years and it seems to me that experience is one of the key elements. But, even more importantly is the understanding of Prosthodontic principles (See my article about why you need a Prosthodontist). So what you need to do if you are contemplating dental implants is to work with either one person who is well versed in the surgical aspect and the Prosthodontic principles or a team that can put together these elements successfully. You should remember that dental implantology is NOT a specialty and there are lots of articles on this site that warn you to be careful when dealing with dentists who say they are "specialists" in dental implants (that goes for the ones who say they are specialists in cosmetic dentistry as well).
As a patient, you should be very knowledgeable about fees involved with dental implants. Fees vary widely and I have included lots of information on this site to show you the variations in fees and what you might expect to pay for certain dental implant procedures. Please be aware that while these types of treatments are costly, there are many variations that might save you significant expenses and still provide you with optimal function and appearance. Ask your dentist about all the alternatives for your situation and then decide based on your needs and what you can afford.
If you are contemplating implant procedures, read the articles on this site very carefully, especially the article on the Visual Explanation of Dental Implants, and make sure that you know what to expect from the procedure. If you can't find answers to your questions or if you are interested in arranging to have your dental implant treatment performed by me, you can always email me or call my Boynton Beach, Florida office at 561-734-0505. I see patients here from all over the world and I invite you to contact me with any questions or to make an appointment. SRD