In the first of our exclusive Speaker Spotlight focus, implant dentist and course lecturer Dr Rob Oretti tell’s all when it comes to education, biologics, and why cooking is like implant dentistry!
Q1. What drew you to a career in dentistry and implant dentistry?
RO: I ask myself this all the time. In truth, implant dentistry incorporated all the things I wanted from dentistry i.e., surgery, the biomechanical aspects, prosthetics, periodontology. It involves so many different aspects and I felt this was where I needed to be. I wanted to bring everything together and implant dentistry ticked all the boxes in utilising all the disciplines and roles in one.
Q2. What is important to you when it comes to education?
RO: Education for me is about honesty! I want anybody who is speaking to be honest, give the facts, no bias, show their failures and how they got to their successes and show me a story so that I can believe them and learn. I don’t like literature-based learning, it needs clinical relevance, and be up to date.
Q3. Why should someone book onto your course?
RO: Firstly, I’m very good! But also, you’re going to learn a lot about the things you all ask questions about but don’t really know how to do it. For example, when it comes to soft tissue grafting, only 5% of dentists are doing this on a regular basis and in my opinion that’s not enough. I’d like to see 20-40% of implant dentists routinely, confidently, and predictably perform soft tissue grafting.
Other aspects not done well is ridge preservation – i.e., the reason and rationale of why we do it is not done enough. Plus, the skills required for suturing and flap design are also lacking. My courses are focused on these elements so you can take away and improve on what you’re doing the next day.
Q4. If you looked back at a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give?
RO: Don’t rush – good things come to those who wait! Find your direction, I tended to rush and wanted to learn more than I could and maybe started too quick. It took me 10 years doing dentistry before I decided to do implant dentistry. It may seem slow, but it was the best thing for me. Seek out those courses or speakers that are going to enhance you (even if it’s abroad). To do that, you need to know your direction, and even if that takes you 2-5 years to understand where you want to go that’s fine, but when you do – seek out the best.
Q5. How do you relax outside of practice?
RO: Cooking is my no. 1 – I get a real kick out of it and when I’m cooking, I don’t think about dentistry. Part of my passion for cooking is going to and seeking out restaurants when I’m travelling. I just love the ‘mish mash’ of different ingredients which I probably wouldn’t put together, but someone else has. I also play golf – probably very badly but it’s a nice distraction – and I enjoy walking.
Q6. What book are you reading right now?
RO:Tom Kerridge’s cookbook – I’m a big fan. Overpriced, over cooked, and overegged. And, ‘American Dirt’ by author Jeanine Cummins, which centres around a Mexican bookseller who is forced to flee the cartel as an illegal immigrant to the US, with her son, after her journalist husband exposes a local drug kingpin.
Q7. If you weren’t an implant dentist, what career path would you have followed?
RO: I’d be a Michelin star chef or a wine and food critique and go to all these restaurants and have a good time. Cheffing is like implant dentistry – lots of elements that must be done right, and you need to know what to do – and then put together in a cookbook.
Rob speaking at the BioHorizons Camlog National Symposium 2022 in the ‘Disasters from the Masters’ session.
Q8. What’s the secret to success in the modern world of implant dentistry?
RO: Get to know your patient and start off simple. Stage yourself according to your ability. Split cases into simple, advanced, and complex. Don’t touch complex at the start – you don’t need to get into trouble early on. Find a good mentor, find someone who can help you understand cases and let them do the complex work, watch them, and graduate up to advanced and then complex.
Q9. With biomaterials, what would you consider to be the 3 main success factors to achieve high quality patient results?
RO: Undoubtedly, the three most important factors for biomaterials for me are:
When I look at the biomaterials I use for the successful outcome of the patient, the first thing is you must learn the knowledge of whichever material you’re going to apply i.e., xenograft, allograft or alloplast.
The application of these materials is so important and their ease of use. So, you’ve got to pick a product that is easy to use and manipulate and close over with a membrane or a flap on top and no adverse reaction from that for the patient.
Long-term is that this material is turned over into bone, have stable 2-3mm buccal plate in front of the implant for the long-term.
Q10. What do you look for in a biomaterials supplier?
RO: When it comes to choosing a biomaterials supplier, I look for two things.
Firstly, the relationship you have with the company early on is so advantageous for the next few decades. Get to know the people at the company and if they want to help you or not. Ask yourself… “Do I know the people?” “Are they personable and there to help?” “Will they come round and explain things?”
Second is the product, it must be consistent, predictable, and safe to use, and you need to discover how the products characteristics work for you.
Once you have found the products and the company then you are in a great starting place!
Thank you for your time Rob.
To find out more about Rob Oretti’s ‘A Comprehensive hard & soft tissue Grafting’ course click here.
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