184 W. Main Street, Suite 200 Collegeville, PA 19426 610-228-4366
2685 Euclid Ave. South
Williamsport, PA 17702
570-505-6908

PA Dental Implants Expert Stresses Importance of Researching Dentists Prior to Undergoing Specialized Treatments

  • August 22, 2010

COLLEGEVILLE, WILLIAMSPORT AND PHILADELPHIA, PA – The shrinking economy has affected virtually every walk of life, and the dentistry field has not been exempt.

More dentists are branching out by taking continuing education courses to provide dental implant services to patients in an effort to keep income levels steady.

The problem is that many dentists take as little as two days of training and then return to their office and provide dental implant procedures on their patients, said Williamsport, PA dental implants specialist Dr. David DiGiallorenzo, who has specialized in periodontics and dental implantology since 1995 and speaks internationally on the topics.

“Dentistry has eleven specialties, and dentists have a general scope of practice once they finish dental school,” said the Williamsport, PA periodontics expert, adding that specialists often train an extra three to five years after dental school, frequently earning an additional master’s or doctoral degree in their specialty in the process.

“There are no rules governing what a general dentist can and cannot do,” DiGiallorenzo said, “which differs from medical doctors, where a general practitioner wouldn’t dare do a heart procedure or an orthopedic procedure.”

But in the minds of many dentists, desperate times call for desperate measures, and many makers of dental implants seem to encourage dentists to branch out into implants.

“Unfortunately, the corporate side of biomedical devices in dentistry often sees the additional sales as a positive, even if is not in the profession’s or patients’ best interests,” said the Williamsport, PA periodontist.

Biomedical device manufacturers do not seem to overtly support the possibility that patient care is being sacrificed, he said, particularly after years of leading implant companies’ strategic plans focusing on training general dentists as their core growth opportunity.

As a means of addressing concerns surrounding this issue, the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness was formed in 1997. It is a non-profit corporation that provides independent, authoritative and objective information on the benefits of dental implants as an alternative treatment option for tooth replacement. The corporation also plays watchdog to these industry changes and works to protect the patient population and to provide standards for privately run courses supported by implant manufacturers, according to the institute’s website.

Note to Patients: Do Your Homework
The key for patients in need of dental implants to keep in mind is the importance of researching dental services providers before entrusting them with specialized treatments and procedures such as dental implants and periodontal surgery, said DiGiallorenzo, whose Collegeville and Williamsport, PA periodontics practices offer both services.

Although it is legal for any licensed dentist to place implants, not every dentist has had extensive training in implant procedures, nor do they have experience handling the potential complications that can occur, according to the IDIA website.

When performed by trained oral surgeons and periodontists, dental implant treatment is successful. These surgical specialists have undergone extensive training and experience with surgical procedures and complications, the site stated.

On the other hand, many “non-surgical” dentists who take a one- to three-day training course on implant surgery are not prepared to predict, diagnose and treat complications, should they arise.

It is important that dentists and patients alike understand that complications can occur, even when dental implant procedures are performed by experienced surgical specialists.

“The difference is that these specialists have a tremendous amount of training and experience in their corner,” DiGiallorenzo said. “They are better equipped to address complications, should they occur.”

Since implant placement is a surgical procedure, and there is no law that requires dentists to have extensive training prior to surgically placing implants, it is critical for patients to ask questions about training and experience prior to undergoing implant surgery.

The IDIA website has a page of information patients may use as a reference when selecting a dentist to perform their implant procedure.

Learn More
If you would like to learn more about dental implants from the Collegeville and Williamsport, PA periodontists at Dr. David DiGiallorenzo’s office or you wish to schedule a consultation, please call 610-228-4366 in Collegeville; 570-505-6908 in Williamsport; or visit his Web site: http://www.perioimplants.us/.

About Dr. David Digiallorenzo
Dr. David Digiallorenzo, or “Dr. D,” graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1993 and completed a specialty in periodontics and dental implantology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.

He is a past associate clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics. He teaches nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to dental literature.

Dr. D’s private practice in suburban Philadelphia concentrates on periodontics, dental implantology, advanced reconstructive case management and TMJ treatment. It is a unique dental spa with two full-time massage therapists that specialize in reflexology, reiki, massage, aromatherapy and homeopathy. This combination creates a relaxed, optimal healing response.

Dr. D has two office locations: 184 W. Main St., Ste. 200, in Collegeville, PA; and 121 E. Fourth St. in Williamsport, PA.

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