FGDP marks 15 years of raising standards in implant dentistry
The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) is celebrating the 15th anniversary of Training Standards in Implant Dentistry, its publication which defines the training that should be undertaken to carry out implant dentistry safely.
Training in implant dentistry is available from a variety of providers – including the FGDP, which has trained over 700 dentists through its respected postgraduate diploma course – and Training Standards in Implant Dentistry sets the standards which UK training courses should meet.
Available free of charge at www.fgdp.org.uk/guidance-standards, the document also serves as a reference point for the General Dental Council in the consideration of patient complaints against dentists who have allegedly practised implant dentistry in the UK without the necessary competence.
Principle 7 of the GDC’s Standards for the Dental Team requires dental practitioners to be appropriately trained for every task and type of treatment they carry out. Developed initially by a working group convened by the regulator to ensure patient safety, Training Standards in Implant Dentistry requires those placing dental implants to be competent in carrying out the various surgical and restorative procedures involved, having undertaken suitable postgraduate training including mentored clinical implant placement and/or restoration.
First published in December 2005, the document was later revised by an expert working group, in light of developments in the field, in 2008, 2012 and most recently in 2016.
A review published in 2018 concluded that the development of Training Standards in Implant Dentistry had “led to a significant improvement in the quality of postgraduate education in dental implantology in the UK".
However the review also concluded that “the provision of mentoring for implant placements needs to be standardised”, and the FGDP is currently working with the Association of Dental Implantology to set out more detailed mentoring requirements, which are expected to be published as an appendix to the current guidance in 2021.
Abhi Pal, editor of Training Standards in Implant Dentistry and chair of the faculty’s professional affairs committee, said, “Developed to standardise and improve training in implant dentistry, Training Standards in Implant Dentistry ultimately helps give patients the confidence they need to seek appropriate treatment. The anniversary of its publication is a moment to celebrate the high standards of training and practice which it underpins, and which dental patients in the UK have been benefiting from for the last 15 years.”
Ian Mills, dean of FGDP(UK), added, “Undergraduate training prepares dentists to graduate from dental school as a safe beginner. Subsequent postgraduate training will provide the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and competencies within a wide range of dental disciplines, and for some will lead to specialist training. There is no specialist training pathway in the UK for implant dentistry, and as an increasingly popular treatment modality, and one which can carry significant risks, it is important that practitioners have access to appropriate training. Training Standards in Implant Dentistry enables a variety of training providers to respond to the needs of GDPs and deliver the necessary level of training. As a result, implant treatment is now routinely and safely available throughout the UK, to the great benefit of our patients.”