The demand for full-arch implants is on the rise. Paul Swanson explains how today’s clinicians can get started in this growing technique and the benefits for clinicians, technicians and patients alike.

So, you’re an implant dentist? You’ve got several years’ experience under your belt placing and restoring implants, you’re exceeding 75+ implants a year and you’re starting to get the post-grad itch to further your skills.

Therefore, what is your next step and what does the future hold for implant dentists today and in the coming years?

Firstly, the UK population is steadily getting older. The baby boomer (post-war) generation aged 57-75, account for over a fifth of the UK population (14.3 million)i and by 2066, those aged 65+ will make up over a quarter of the UK populationii. That’s approximately 20.4 million people, and a 6.1 million increase compared to today, who will be living longer and experiencing a greater quality of life than the generation before them.

Secondly, let’s not discount the fact that this same generation of patients have undergone decades of various dental treatments and techniques, and in many cases, by nature, are becoming problematic.

Thirdly, when it comes to generational trends, the 50 plus generation are today far more physically active, healthy and image conscious than the generation before them. A decline in oral health as you age is now no longer considered inevitable but instead preventable, as they strive to actively maintain good health and aesthetics. Many of them have the funds and are willing to pay for dental care more than ever before.

Through the use of intelligent search engines and alluring consumer marketing, patients are a lot more educated and savvier about implants and the options available to them. It’s our role as dental professionals to guide and educate them and offer the best treatment options for optimum longevity and quality of life.

However you phrase it, your patients want same day dentistry – restoring immediate function and aesthetics to their missing teeth in days, not months.

A typical immediate load, full-arch patient often presents as nervous and dental phobic, one that has either been an irregular attender, has had a previous bad experience and/or has very low self-esteem. It’s these patients where a one-staged ‘treatment in a day’ approach is ideal and usually welcomed with open arms, as they appreciate the benefits of having to endure an afternoon of surgical dentistry knowing that they’ll walk away with a new full set of teeth that very same day.

This is an incomparable feeling to the experience of a staged surgery approach where the patient would have to undergo multiple visits to the dentist, potential invasive grafting treatment, and prolonged periods of time without any dentition, consequently having a negative impact on not only any pre-existing dental phobias but their self-confidence too. For the clinician, this one-stage technique simplifies the surgical workflow and reduces chair time, enabling you to see more patients.

If you are proficient in implant placement, a natural progression is to branch out and step up to the next level by developing your skills in full-arch rehabilitation. And the role of the dental technician and dental nurse in supporting you on this journey should not be underestimated. It’s for this reason I developed the ‘Immediate Loading with TeethXpress®’ course – one of Europe’s longest TeethXpress courses – and an educational platform I’m proud to have delivered for seven years and 12 cohorts now.

This two-day programme is a fully comprehensive training course focusing on the full arch, immediate-load dental implant protocol and includes increased case acceptances strategies. The objectives are to create an understanding of planning, delivery and long-term maintenance. During the two-day course, delegates will focus on the three key elements needed for full-arch rehabilitation success; clinical, marketing and laboratory, including live surgery as well as the opportunity to work alongside experienced dental technician Jonathan Dean in understanding the role of the laboratory technician in the TeethXpress protocol with special focus on immediate dentures.

Recommended for the dentist, their technician and their nurse, this course helps all three professions develop their knowledge and understanding of the full-arch, immediate-load protocol and the teamwork required to predictably provide this treatment modality.

As the demand for immediate load, full-arch dentistry rises, clinicians need to be on top of their game when it comes to these treatments.

However, it takes time, patience, appropriate training and experience before such cases can be handled. When carefully planned, it can contribute to career satisfaction and the premise for a thriving business model.

Click here to view article references

i. Aegon.co.uk. 2019. Baby Boomers Hotspots Report 2019. [online] Available at https://www.aegon.co.uk/content/dam/ukpaw/hidden/baby-boomer-report-2019.pdf [Accessed 5 July 2021]

ii. ONS: Living longer: how our population is changing and why it matters. 2018

If the future is full arch, rise above! For more information on the Paul Swanson ‘Immediate Loading with TeethXpress® course and booking details, click here.

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Paul Swanson

Paul Swanson

Following his qualification from the University of Liverpool in 2000 Paul continued his studies and obtained a Diploma in General Practice from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2003 and also completed the Diploma in Dental Implantology in 2008. This is the highest level of Implant training available in the U.K. and is a qualification held by only 50 dentists. Paul has additional qualifications allowing him to provide treatment with sedation which is invaluable when treating nervous patients. Paul accepts referrals from other practices across the city and also further afield for implant dentistry, showing the high regard in which he is held by his fellow dentists and also his patients. Paul is also employed by Liverpool University Dental Hospital where he helps train and mentor newly graduated dentists and more recently has also taken up a teaching post with the Royal College of Surgeons in London.