Raise your hands if you’ve seen any of these descriptions before: implantologist, dental implant specialist or cosmetic dentist…Guess what? There is no such thing. No such specialty as dental implants or implantology is recognized by the American Dental Association. There are residency programs that teach dental implants, some of which take years to complete. Then there are weekend courses that offer a limited educational experience. The levels of training for dental implants vary significantly from excellent to useless, leaving the consumer further unsure. As for cosmetic dentists, all dentists are cosmetic – is there a non-cosmetic dentist? Some may be better than others but sometimes it sounds as if it is a special title with special training involved, which is not accurate.
Another way that dentists confuse consumers is by making claims such as “we offer a full range of x services” when they are not. These statements may put dentists in danger of offering a standard of care that is not justifiable. Offering free exams is another gray area, as it unfairly puts pressure on a competing practice. The FTC is the regulatory body involved but many of the guidelines are vague.