There is no doubt that it’s an exciting time to be a dentist.
Advances in digital technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality are starting to infiltrate into our everyday lives and dentistry is no different.
If we break this down further into implant dentistry, the number of technological advances is becoming exponential at present which is improving treatment outcomes, treatment accuracy as well as the patient experience. From patient diagnostics, through implant planning, guided surgery and digital reconstruction with intra oral scanning- the options are now endless.
So, where do you start to try to learn about all these technical advances when becoming an implant dentist?
Well, unfortunately there are no shortcuts to becoming a good implant surgeon or implant restorative dentist.
A grounding in the basics is essential. Techniques such as removing teeth carefully to preserve bone, raising mucoperiosteal flaps and suturing must be mastered before considering implant surgery. Being able to restore teeth is also an obvious must before restoring implants. Not forgetting the basics of fundamental treatment planning, allowing you to discuss all available options to your patients.
The ITI (International Team for Implantology) have recently updated their book called the SAC Classification (straightforward, advanced and complex). This allows dentists to risk assess their implant patients into one of these categories and highlights any red flags that may affect the treatment outcome. It is important that dentists who wish to carry out implant treatment start off at a straightforward level, becoming proficient at both the surgical and restorative aspect of implant treatment on straightforward cases such a premolar and molars with sufficient bone.
At The Campbell Academy we suggest that if you want to become a successful implant dentist then you need to work towards placing in excess of 50 implants per year in order to gain enough experience as well as be able to deal the relevant complications and address common issues associated with implant surgery. Below this number it is likely you are just ‘dabbling’ and this has potential to result in poor outcomes for both you and your patient. Interestingly, relatively recent industry statistics highlighted that over 70% of one of the leading implant company’s customers place less than 15 implants per year!!!
If we look at the FGDP implant guidelines we will see that dentists are encouraged not to work beyond the competencies without the assistance of an experienced mentor and this is essential to move through and towards carrying out advanced and complex procedures such as bone grafting, sinus grafting and full arch reconstruction.
The progression through this educational pathway may take some dentists two or three years but may take others up to ten or fifteen years and it’s very much dependant on the individuals confidence and competence and how they progress.
At The Campbell Academy we work with individuals on a day-to-day basis to progress them through from absolute beginners who have never placed an implant before through to dentists who can carry out the more complex full arch reconstructions or sinus grafting. They’re paired up with mentors who are experienced in the more complex areas in order to get them up to speed and comfortable with carrying out these treatments on their own patients.
The philosophy of The Academy also encourages postponement of profit in the early stages of development, focusing entirely on your education and becoming the best surgeon you can. We truly believe the business aspect will take care of itself once you have the foundations of learning are in place and it’s this balance of profit and ethics that underpins the philosophy of The Academy.
We have a variety of courses available starting with our Year Implant Course. This is for beginners and those with less experience and will give you the support you need to begin placing implants.
For those who are more experienced in implant dentistry then we have advanced and complex level courses including - Aesthetic Live Skills, Sinus Grafting Live Skills and Immediate Full Arch Loading Live Skills. These are then further supplemented with our one-day masterclasses where we are often privileged to have international speakers visit the academy.
For more information on how we can help you progress from a beginner through to an experienced implant dentist please have a look on our website: https://www.campbellacademy.co.uk/
Author: Andrew Legg