Why do you recommend the implant dentistry path to today’s clinicians?
Quite simply, why refer, when you can grow your own business by placing and/or restoring implants? With implant dentistry, it’s not only an exciting and challenging discipline that’s advancing in techniques and materials year-on-year, but with the rising demand for our edentulous patients there is the opportunity to not only help improve their lives, but from a business aspect it can be a profitable source of income and growth.
For dentists thinking on embarking on this career path, it is essential to note that implant dentistry requires key skills such as communication, case planning and surgical abilities in addition to business skills such as finance and marketing too. While it requires some initial investment and proper training, when planned out correctly, the financial gains will be evident. I suggest any clinician looking to start placing or restoring implants enrol on a good quality, well-established practical course that has good participation involvement.
So, how did your journey into implants start?
I qualified from Queens University Belfast in 2006 and completed a year-long implant certificate with Dr Raj Patel thereafter. I was only 24 years old when I did the course and at that age you’re young and absorb information like a sponge. I had that enthusiasm and no sense of fear about what could go wrong! That sort of let me springboard early and I was lucky that the majority of my placements were very successful. This gave me that leap of confidence and helped me with placing implants at a fairly early stage of my career.
In 2012 I chose to open my first practice, Boyne Dental & Implant Clinic, which was initially a squat practice and has since progressed into a bespoke five-surgery practice. One of our proudest moments was being voted Best New Dental Practice in Ireland 2016. We expanded and bought another clinic two years later and then a third in 2019.
Fast forward to today, 25 years since my career in implant dentistry began, and I’ve now placed and restored over 1,500 implants and carried out many smile makeovers and full-mouth rehabilitations.
Do you foresee any future challenges in implant dentistry?
I foresee a lot more companies coming into the market, driving digital planning and making the process more predictable and simpler for clinicians. However, it’s vital to understand that this does not replace the clinical skill and know-how that is required. It’s like the technological advancement of an aeroplane, while the plane may continue to develop from an auto-pilot perspective, it still requires a skilled pilot to control and oversee the “machine”.
In implant dentistry, no matter the technological advancements, there is still a need for an experienced person or organisation to explain and advise new clinicians on the foundational elements of this complex discipline. For example, if any complications or problems should arise, one has to go back to the basic principles of implant dentistry and in order to do that must have perfected the core skills first.
How do you help meet this challenge?
This is where the Boyne Dental Implant Year course comes in and one of the reasons why I chose to establish this course. With a strong focus on both the theoretical and hands-on elements, my aim is to ensure clinicians build on their foundational implant understanding before gaining the practical, in-surgery skills over a steady 12-month period.
The first three days of the course are lecture-based, with myself explaining the theory, showing them the equipment and materials and how to get started in implants. The fourth day is in the surgery setting where delegates will observe me placing implants on a patient. On the fifth day delegates have the opportunity to bring their own patients for treatment planning and we go through the scans, photographs and assessments.
By days 6-11 delegates should be skilled and knowledgeable enough to be placing implants on their own patients – a process which I advise and support alongside. Delegates attending the Boyne Dental Implant Year course will place a minimum of three implants, but for the majority they often exceed this expectation and place approximately 10-13.
Why choose the Boyne Dental Implant Year course?
We welcome clinicians from all walks of life and experiences of implant dentistry, from newly qualified dentists to more experienced dentists. The course, which starts in September, and ending in June 2022, takes place in my practice, the Boyne Dental Implant Clinic, and one of my key goals of the year long course is to ensure that I keep in in touch with each of the delegates directly, not only throughout the course, but in continuing to mentor them on completion of the course.
We aim to equip delegates with all the critical skills they need to successfully incorporate implant dentistry into their practice. The difference with my course is the real-life exposure to what it’s like to perform these procedures in a dental practice. It helps to make you so much more comfortable and confident when you’re tackling implants back at your clinic. The mentorship and comradeship after the course is invaluable and helps to cement the knowledge and reassure you that you’re doing the right thing. My motto is to work together and move forwards together, so we develop and progress in a united fashion.
As evidence of our commitment to clinical excellence we’ve invested in a CEREC machine and milling machine to aid implant treatment and planning. And, aside from the clinical side, this course also shows you how to utilise your skills through marketing and communicating to ensure your treatment uptake is high. It’s the perfect stepping-stone to the start of your profitable implant journey!
If you’re thinking of getting started in implants, click here to discover more.