Your pathway to implant success

14 December 2023

Fazeela Khan Osbourne explains why enhancing your team's training is the key to providing high-quality care.

As a dental student, you may have set a career goal – or several. For me, I realised that if I wanted to do things my way and be my own blueprint, I would have to set up my own practice. It would deliver holistic one-to-one care, using cutting-edge techniques, and I’d do my own surgery, too. I’d need to create a team that shared my approach, and my clinic would also be at the forefront of quality training for new and novice dentists. I’m happy to say that I have done all I wanted to and more, and I have never stopped learning, either.

Dentistry is a competitive industry full of talented people who seem to have achieved so much so fast. Look closer, however, you will find their success is built not just on hard work, but on highly-considered choices about their ongoing education.

Building on the basics is a manta I use time and time again. Rush into postgraduate training that’s not the best long-term option, and you could quickly become disillusioned and frustrated. You’ll waste time and money, making it harder to achieve your goals.

The problem is that dentistry is always looking forward. So, how to choose a course that will help you solve the kinds of dilemmas you’re seeing now and prepare you for the future? In the field of dental implantology, for example, we’re likely to see an increase in complex cases that require an advanced skillset and greater depth of knowledge. Digital workflows will also be more commonplace as the technology becomes integrated into every part of the treatment process, starting with the patient’s very first assessment. However, many practices are not using these techniques and technologies yet.

The case for an education pathway  

Considered education will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to help patients today and get you ready for what’s to come. Rather than seeing your learning as a series of separate ‘blocks’, a defined pathway will take you seamlessly from one stage of your education and training to the next.

A well-paced pathway will cover relevant topics, from the basics to practical learning that lets you get hands-on straightaway. It will support your logical progression from novice to a confident, safe and in-demand implantologist while helping you become a better general dentist, too.

A defined implant pathway will look forward to the diagnostic, digital, surgical and restorative modalities required for advanced treatments, such as hard and soft tissue augmentation. But it will ensure your ongoing development in other areas that are absolutely fundamental to the delivery of high-quality care. How well you communicate with patients, for example, will ensure treatment plans get accepted and completed. Since I’ve been practising, I have seen huge changes in patient attitudes and behaviour, from what they want to spend their money on to their expectations for outcomes. Communication skills are a crucial part of the whole package that a dentist and practice is offering. Misunderstandings are the source of many complaints; a great dentist will be able to talk to people about their health in a way that they understand.

Take your team on your journey

Another benefit of choosing an implant education pathway is that, as you become a more experienced clinician, you’ll gain the confidence to lead a team. In the early days, as I was honing my own approach to work, I was sharing what I’d learned with my team at the same time. This allowed me to bring like-minded people with me on my journey, who were on the same page. When you’re ready to start treating implant patients in your practice, give your colleagues the opportunity to join consultations, to understand the process.

The dental nurse, dental hygienist and/or dental therapist will see how you reached a diagnosis, and your reason(s) for offering a particular course of action. They will see the kind of queries that implant patients have and how you keep the conversation going should they be unsure about whether to proceed. Teamwork is crucial for successful implant outcomes because everyone must know the treatment plan and how to implement it – this includes ongoing maintenance to keep the result stable and looking beautiful, too.

At One to One Implant Education, an implant pathway is offered to dentists, and is suitable for everyone from complete novices to experienced clinicians. Join at the stage most appropriate to you, or complete the whole pathway, from beginner to advanced. The programme is forward-thinking while being grounded in everyday practical dentistry, to build skills as well as knowledge and confidence. With a significant proportion of live surgery from the start, also peer mentoring and a prestigious teaching team, this is a pathway that leads to a fulfilling implant career.

Postgraduate education and training is the secret to success. Be considered, and think about the journey as well as the destination. By choosing wisely, you’ll achieve your goals and carve out a successful space in dentistry.


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