Dental Implantology is not a field of dental specialty. Every dentist is permitted to place dental implants. However, the majority of dental implants provided are placed by periodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and prosthodontists. In the United States, it is important to differentiate between restorative implant dentistry and surgical implant dentistry. The former refers to the placement of a crown, bridge, or overdenture atop an implant post. The latter refers to the placement of the implant post into the supporting bone.
A common protocol for providing dental implants sees a patient referred to a dentist who specializes in the placement of dental implants (a periodontist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or prosthodontist). After the surgical site of placement has time to heal, a process known as osseointegration (or integration of the implant post with the supporting bone). Ideally, this healing process will take about 6 weeks. Following this period, the implant is then restored with a crown, bridge, or overdenture.
If you have further questions about dental implants or implant dentistry, schedule a consultation with your general dentist or with a dental specialist. They will be able to provide you with more information and help you determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.