California Implant Dentistry Careers

Implant dentistry is a highly specialized field of dentistry that involves the combined use of anesthetics, technology, and surgical devices to replace one or more missing teeth or to replace or restore dental implants. While these specialists work with patients of all ages, a typical patient is an adult suffering from tooth loss resulting from gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay, or injury.

Implant dentists may have their own practice, work with a group practice, or work at a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. They may also work for government or church-funded facilities. While implant dentists can be found in every major city in the U.S., California is home to the largest number of specialists in this field.

Implant Dentistry Education and Training Programs

Aspiring implant dentists must hold a Doctorate degree from an accredited dental school and complete many years of additional training in implant dentistry. A typical training program requires successful completion of courses with titles such as Dental Bioengineering, Implant Dentistry, Applied Radiology for Implant dentistry, Implant Prosthodontics, Oral Implant Surgery, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Implant Dentistry, Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, and Occlusion and Morphology.

Implant dentistry students typically participate in fellowships, internships, and externships to gain hands-on training in implant dentistry. In the end, a professional implant dentist will hold several degrees, certification, and several licenses or permits—all of which are required to practice implant dentistry in just about every state, including the State of California.

Implant dentists  may become members of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) and/or Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID). These credentials can help ensure a successful career working with a medical facility or your own practice.

Implant Dentistry Schools and Training Programs in California

California is home to several schools that offer implant dentistry programs. They include:

California Implant Institute, San Diego, CA (Fellowship Program)
Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Employment and Earnings Outlook for California Implant Dentists

Dentists that specialize in implant dentistry are part of the broader "Dentists, All Other Specialists" group. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this group consists of 5,150 specialists nationwide averaging $164,780 per year, up from 4,770 specialists averaging $142,070 per year in 2008.

The State of California is home to 740 specialists averaging $148,910 per year, up from 330 specialists averaging $169,110 per year in 2008. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metro area was the second highest paying Metro area for dentists specializing in a specific area in 2008, with an average salary of $208,470 per year.  At the time, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metro area was the fourth highest paying metro area with an average salary of $200,260 per year.

Today, the State of California has the highest employment level for this occupation followed by Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Oregon. The San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metro area has the second highest employment level for specialists (the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metro area has the eighth) and the fourth highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation. The Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville Metro area is the eighth highest paying Metro area for specialists, with an average annual salary of $217,290.