Invest in your career, and it can pay you back

29 November 2023

Fazeela Khan-Osborne considers how implant training can add value to your role.

Fazeela Khan-Osborne considers how implant training can add value to your role.

As anyone who works in clinical dentistry will tell you, dentists work hard for their money. It’s a high-stress occupation, dealing with things like difficult patients and industry regulations. After leaving dental school, you soon discover that you need to keep investing in your career by paying for expensive further training. The options for postgraduate education can seem overwhelming. But choose wisely, and it will open up a range of opportunities to keep you motivated and maximise your earning potential, too.

Having the skills and knowledge to deliver high-demand treatments is the key to optimising revenue and job satisfaction. Dentists with the capacity to do more, help more people achieve a better quality of life. They build a team around them in practices that are thriving. Their patients are loyal, appreciating the fact that they won’t necessarily have to be referred out, for something beyond general dentistry.

If you have invested in dental implant training, these therapies require an elevated hygiene programme to keep the result stable. This means involving the dental nurse, dental hygienist and/or therapist right from the planning stage so they get to know the patient, understand their goals, and any factors that could compromise the outcome. Trust and loyal relationships develop; a commitment to maintenance is established. Aside from the obvious, significant benefit of empowering people to achieve a better quality of life, this is good business as patients continue spending time and money at the practice.

Training to deliver implant treatment, and you will enjoy professional and personal gains. Dental implants are suitable for people of all ages – I have seen people in their 70s, 80s have their lives transformed. Implant dentists have to use their problem-solving and creative skills and every day is different. They also see the direct result of their work, in terms of improved function and aesthetics to boost patients’ mental and social wellbeing as well as physical health. They perform surgeries using the latest cutting-edge techniques, which are backed by scientific evidence. And they capitalise on the various revenue streams available to dentists who offer a range of services in order to treat people comprehensively.

Investing back into your career to get more out is achievable when you focus on the destination. There are different learning journeys available to dentists who want to place and restore dental implants. Consider your work-life balance – how much time do you have to dedicate to further study? Before you enrol, make sure you are prioritising ‘value’ over ‘cost’.  A short, intensive course may not give enough time for reflection or review, for example. A university-based MSc could be the wrong decision if you’re still a novice who hasn’t started building the basics needed to be an exceptional implant dentist. Modular courses, completed over a year or so, give flexibility, and the best programmes will have a significant hands-on element as well as mentoring. Some modular courses have been designed to be completed as part of a curated implant dentist pathway. Beginners can choose to refine their surgical skills (for example, suturing techniques and simple flap design) before moving onto dedicated implant training and, in time, an advanced programme that covers complex techniques, including hard and soft tissue augmentation.

See any investment in implant education as part of a lifelong learning journey. An implant dentist needs patients to say “yes”, so you’ll have to be an effective communicator and be able to lead a team. Be open to the fact that the skills and knowledge you need will be honed throughout your career. Invest in training that allows you to develop at the right pace, giving you that all-important confidence as well as competence.

One to One Implant Education, there are different courses available, starting with PG Certificate in Surgical Procedures for GDPs, moving on to a PG Diploma in Implant Dentistry, then PG Diploma in Advanced Techniques. Moving through the programme, delegates become equipped with all the skills, diagnostic, surgical, restorative and non-clinical skills to take on straightforward and complex cases. Each of these programmes forms part of One to One’s highly respected and defined pathway for implant dentists, created in line with guidelines set out by the College of General Dentistry (CGDent). Once the advanced section is complete, it is hoped students will apply for a CGDent Fellowship, to mark their accomplishments.

A fulfilling career in dentistry needs investment to set you apart from the rest. Choose further training that suits your goals and that can optimise both your job satisfaction and earning potential. Think long-term and added value, and you will avoid costly mistakes. When you have the skills to deliver in-demand treatments, like implant therapies, you have the opportunity to enable more people to improve their quality of life and reap financial rewards that can be re-invested into the career of your dreams.


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