Once you’ve made the decision to get started in implant dentistry, defining your education pathway from a theoretical and practical aspect can be a minefield. You can spend valuable hours intensively researching the right educational provider to equip you with the skills and know-how to feel competent and confident to provide this transformative treatment option to your patients.
I know this, because along with over 2,000 other implant dentists in the UK & Ireland I’ve been there, and while all our implant education pathways and experiences will differ, I have noticed a common theme. The majority of implant courses have a strong emphasis on the practical, hands-on element of the course.
There is a temptation for many aspiring implant dentists to undertake a hands-on course with the primary focus on being able to carry out a certain number of cases at the end. This is often without obtaining some of the essential theoretical skills fundamental to implant dentistry. It is often found that litigation surrounding dental implants stems from those dentists undertaking procedures without having the correct clinical knowledge and mentoring, and essentially taking on cases that they are clinically not yet equipped to manage.
It is for this reason, that I believe implant education should be about equipping the clinician with the theoretical knowledge ready for when they embark on the practical aspect. It certainly should never be overlooked.