Dental Procedures
AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW ARTICLE

Read Jacquie Hayes, of the AFR, interview Dr Kia Pajouhesh on dental costs “The Crowning Glory – 8 September 2012”

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Specialist Care

However, when it comes to:

1.Dental Implant Surgery

There are currently four clinician groups who typically perform this procedure (in order of number of years of formal training):

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon (approximately 15 to 16 years’ training)

A board-registered specialist in the field of surgery to do with the mouth and jaws whose current training in Australia requires them to complete degrees in dentistry, medicine and oral surgery. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are accredited at most major Australian hospitals and can therefore offer surgery in hospital under general anaesthetic.

Periodontist (approximately 7 to 8 years’ training)

A board-registered specialist in the field of dental bone support and gum surgery whose current training in most universities requires them to complete a Masters degree or equivalent in periodontics (average training 3 to 4 years after becoming a dentist).

Oral surgeon (approximately 8 to 9 years’ training)

A board- registered specialist in the field of surgery whose training is currently not available in Australia. Members of this group have not completed a degree in medicine and have had a more limited surgical training phase. Many of them are overseas trained.

General Dentist (approximately 4 to 5 years’ training)

A non specialist whose training is not specific to surgery but covers all facets of general dentistry. Note: titles such as implant dentist / implant surgeon / dental surgeon can all be used by general dentists. General dentists can refer to themselves in all of the above ways without any additional qualification beyond being a registered dentist. General dentists cannot be rated by their specialist training in a surgical field; they can only be rated according to their on-the-job experience levels in surgery and surgical short courses that they attend.

The general rule of thumb is:

The more complicated the implant surgical procedure (especially if there is limited natural bone and there is need for bone grafts and sinus lifts), the more strongly advised you are to consult a board-registered specialist with formal surgical training, or at least seek their second opinion before embarking on such a course of treatment.

2. Dental Implant Crown

There are two clinician groups who typically perform this procedure:

Prosthodontist

A board-registered specialist in the field of dental crowns and bridges and implant crowns and bridges whose current training in most universities requires them to complete a Masters degree or equivalent in prosthodontics (average training 3 to 4 years after becoming a dentist).

specialist care costsGeneral dentist

Who may refer to themselves as an implant dentist or implantologist and cannot be rated by their specialist training in the prosthodontic field.

The general rule of thumb is:

The more complicated the implant crown procedure (especially if there is multiple missing teeth, cosmetic challenges with the tooth, bite complications and jaw problems), the more strongly advised you are to consult a specialist prosthodontist or seek their second opinion before embarking on such a course of treatment.

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