Complete patient care

02 March 2015
3 min read
Volume 31 · Issue 3
The use of dental implants to assist in the treatment of partial and complete edentulism is well documented. Implantology in the last decade has become an indispensible part of mainstream dentistry and with an ageing population, edentulous patients will continue to remain a problem for practitioners.
Tooth loss can have an enormous impact on an individual and many report low levels of self-confidence and poor self-image as a result. Furthermore, depending upon the presence, number and distribution of teeth, patients can experience reduced ability to eat certain foods, which can affect nutrient intake and impact on an individual’s general health.
Implant dentistry has thus become an important part of clinical practice and with the increase in demand, the technological advances and paradigm changes in implant design, materials and components have made the delivery of treatment across all stages far more accessible. However, due to limited coverage on the subject in both the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum, many dental practitioners lack the knowledge and understanding about implants to take full advantage of the benefits.
Whether providing implants on-site or via a referral service with a specialist practice, there can be many advantages to both the patient and the practice. Restoring implants in particular, can be performed with very little outlay and significant financial gains.
With no need for surgical procedures, implant restoration is a viable option for all dental practitioners. Attending a well-run implant restoration course can give you the skills necessary to talk to your patients about implant therapy, refer them out and then get them back for their restoration following treatment. This way, you will remain involved in the whole process and will be less likely to lose your patients to competitors. Furthermore, with an advanced understanding of the complete implant procedure, you will be in a much better position to consult patients and answer any of their questions.
To deliver the best level of care to your patients, it is essential that you are fully trained and sufficiently qualified and confident. The GDC states that UK dental practitioners should acquire the relevant clinical skills before practising any element of implant dentistry. It further warns that any dentist who carries out work for which they are not trained could put their registration at risk.
Implant restoration skills must therefore be obtained by completing suitable postgraduate training under the supervision of an experienced mentor. There are many training providers offering courses but it is important to find one suitable to your needs. Even if you have some experience in implants, it is essential to learn all of the clinical aspects so you can discuss treatment options. Therefore choosing a course that covers a broad range of symptoms, from those with a single missing posterior tooth all the way to complex anterior and fully edentulous cases, will give you the knowledge to explore the various options available.
Structure of the course is another important area. The best courses cover every aspect in detail and consist of both theoretical and practical hands-on components to give you the wide range of knowledge and understanding you need to provide first-class implant restoration to your patients.
Many of the most established implant surgeons run their own courses, which can offer flexibility in dates, making them ideal for the busy dental professional and an excellent way to practise the skills you need, while continuing with your normal dayto- day work. By obtaining training from established individuals or companies working within the field, you will be able to take full advantage of their up-to-date knowledge and techniques in this ever advancing field of modern dentistry.
It is also important that the mentors are approachable and supportive, as the real journey begins once you start implant restorations. Knowing you have help available, should anything go wrong, can give you the piece of mind
and confidence you need to succeed.
With the demand for dental implants continuing to grow, it is essential to stay ahead of your competitors by offering patients the option of implant treatments. Referring to a specialist practice and providing implant restoration means you can remain an integral part of the process and be in a strong position to meet this increasing demand.