Training and education are key to the future

15 September 2023

Fazeela Khan-Osborne explores the benefits of learning training in dental implants.

Fazeela Khan-Osborne explores the benefits of training in dental implants.

What is the future for dental implants? We know that more patients are interested in these treatments, to restore or replace a missing tooth or teeth. In my practice, I see people of all ages who have done their own research before coming to see us and know that a dental implant will give them back their smile, avoiding the need for a removable denture. Higher demand means that more dental teams will also need to become implant teams.

Whenever we talk about the ‘future’ of anything in dentistry, ‘digital’ is usually mentioned. Certainly, digitised processes, from impression taking to 3D printing, offer numerous advantages to the field of dental implantology. Digital technologies do tend to make all treatments faster and more comfortable for the patient, and, especially if you are delivering care to elderly people, there are obvious benefits here. We are also seeing tools and equipment that enable more precise placement, reducing the risks of complications and failure.

Although digital will likely dominate in the future, we can expect it to co-exist alongside traditional methods for some time. A great implant dentist will be able to use both modalities for options in a wide range of cases. Training, knowledge, and education are, therefore where the future of dental implantology really starts. And, as much as we can appreciate the potential of cutting-edge tech, implant treatment in years to come will continue to rely on the ‘basics’, like communication, teamwork, data collection, diagnostics and confidence in fundamental surgical skills.

If you have little or no experience in implant dentistry, a pathway-led approach will ensure you develop the foundation to provide an exceptional level of patient care, as you move from beginner to advanced practitioner. The training you choose is crucial and should incorporate all the disciplines that define a successful implant dentist.

In the future, thriving implant practices will be those that have created a safe and caring environment to offer patients tailored treatment. Before embarking on implant education, a general dentist may choose to first focus on developing their surgical skills, with a course that covers things like simple and advanced extractions, suturing and augmentation. If this appeals to you, know that this will put you in a great position to move on to the next step, implant training.

The content of a postgraduate implant diploma should be comprehensive enough that you can begin incorporating implantology into your practice as soon as it finishes. But, in this evolving field, dentists and dental professionals must commit to lifelong learning. Even after several decades as an oral surgeon, I know I am constantly challenging my thinking and ideas, attending lectures and finding new mentors. Following postgraduate learning, advanced implant training is therefore the next pathway available, for confidence in completing complex, challenging cases that will include full-mouth rehabilitations.

If you are a GDP, once you start your journey, you can begin to build your team around you. The future of implant dentistry is all about the dental team, who have the knowledge to do far more than simply assist the dentist. As they are now, the team is integral to clinical success and patient satisfaction. The dental nurses, in particular, will understand all the processes the dentist may use and also the basis for material selection. They are also crucial in supporting the patient with their maintenance plan to keep their implant stable.

The future of dental implantology will be based on quality training to ensure that every treatment delivered is tailored, ethical and holistic. The best part of implant dentistry is learning how to really care for someone, and give them their ‘own’ smile back, the smile that they thought they had lost. Technology is important and exciting, but knowledge and education are key to your success. One to One Implant Education offers several pathways for dentists, including a course in surgical procedures for GDPs, alongside its renowned and fully accredited PG Diploma (EduQual Level 7). There is also an advanced implant programme. For dental nurses, an implant diploma is available. With a teaching team of experienced clinicians from the UK and around the world, and exceptional facilities in the heart of London, these courses are hands-on, modern, relevant and will let you get going right away. Highly practical and evidence-based, the dentists’ programmes have a mentoring arm to assist you in treating your own patients.

Implant therapies will be a cornerstone of dentistry in the future. As an efficient way to restore function and aesthetics, they are in high-demand and high value. The best outcomes, and life-changing results, don’t rely solely on technology though. They also need well-trained, educated implant teams and dentists who can deliver on the basics to help more patients comprehensively with individualised care.


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