What Type of Dentist Should I See for Dental Implants?

by Andrew Mueller, DMD, MD | Jul 18, 2020

Choosing to replace your missing teeth with dental implants means you’re about to make a long-term investment in your health, function, and quality of life. So, it makes sense that you’d want to choose the most qualified dentist to complete your treatment. These days, even general dentists are placing dental implants, though they often lack the years of training and education that others have.

While you can see just about any type of dentist for your dental implant surgery, it is important to know exactly how qualified and experienced each type is. These are generalizations, so always research the credentials and years of experience placing dental implants a dentist has, no matter what specialty they are.

General dentist

A general dentist, while the backbone of the dental industry, most likely hasn’t received intensive training in dental implants. Often, general dentists will attend continuing education courses later in their career to learn how to successfully place dental implants. A general dentist who occasionally places implants may not have the in-depth knowledge needed to complete more complex surgical cases.

Cosmetic dentist

A cosmetic dentist has a larger focus on the aesthetic side of dentistry. Though skilled in restoring dental implants, they most likely also won’t have training in dental implant placement unless they’ve completed continuing education courses. Like a general dentist, a cosmetic dentist might not have the experience to complete more advanced surgical treatments.


A periodontist has received additional years of training outside of dental school to specialize in diagnosing and treating problems with the gums, teeth, and bone, as well as training in dental implants. For patients with severe gum disease or bone loss, a periodontist has the training and expertise to provide personalized treatment for these problems before placing dental implants.


A prosthodontist has additional years of specialized training not included in dental school. They specialize in repairing and replacing teeth, specifically in the use of prosthetics like dentures and dental implants. Prosthodontists are also skilled in aesthetically driven treatments to ensure a natural-looking outcomes as well as a functional one. These specialists are especially skilled when teeth need to be replaced in the “aesthetic” zone, or what shows when you smile.

Oral surgeon

An oral surgeon has received the most additional training outside of dental school. Proficient and highly skilled in dental surgeries, even as recent graduates, an oral surgeon is the most qualified dentist to place dental implants. Additionally, they have both dental and medical training, so an oral surgeon is the best choice for anyone with compromising medical conditions or highly complex cases.

Schedule your appointment

Your choice in a dentist for your dental implants relies mostly on your preferences. But don’t forget that their experience and skill matter, too. Schedule an appointment in our Oral Surgical Office in San Antonio and Wichita Falls, TX, Oklahoma City, OK, or Charleston, SC with your local oral surgeon today.

About the Author

Andrew Mueller, DMD, MD

Dr. Andrew Mueller loves being an oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. After completing both dental and then medical school, he did a general surgery residency and an oral/maxillofacial surgery residency (both at Parkland hospital in Dallas, Texas). He has performed countless general anesthetics in the operating room, learning how to safely put patients to sleep and wake them back up.

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