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A guide to implant mentoring

How mentoring in implant dentistry can improve clinical outcomes and create a more rewarding professional life

Taking the first steps into implant dentistry can seem a daunting prospect for those lacking practical experience, and to successfully introduce and benefit from implant treatment in practice is something that’s not easily achieved alone. Academic training and having the most up-to-date knowledge of the processes involved is of course essential, but having limited experience and lacking confidence in hands-on practical skills can make things far harder in moving forward with treatment planning and placement.

Where to begin

For those who want to take their career to the next level and develop their skills in implant dentistry, yet are unsure how this can be achieved, should consider the benefits from ongoing guidance and support in the form of clinical mentoring. Mentoring can be successfully used to accelerate the development of skills, improve clinical outcomes and help in making complex clinical judgements to assist in building confidence and gaining essential hands-on experience in planning and placing implants.

Mentoring is a long-term relationship and a good Mentor is someone who genuinely cares for the mentee’s development and knows how to combine the desire for learning with practice clinical skills. They have the experience, teaching and support skills to offer high-level guidance for long-term development, to find a clinician’s strengths as well as weaknesses, and know precisely when to step in to help achieve successful treatment outcomes.

The role of a Mentor is not to tell or lecture mentees about what to do, but instead to come into their working environment to offer advice to help them think through challenges and find their own way through the myriad of clinical choices and treatment solutions available. Mentors are not there to undermine a clinician’s skills and competencies, but to guide and reassure them through their first cases and beyond based on individual skill levels and training requirements.

Support where it’s needed

Just as starting out in implant dentistry without expert guidance can be a challenge, finding a suitable Mentor without help can also prove to be problematic. Straumann, a market leader in implant dentistry are ideally positioned to partner clinicians with highly-experienced Mentors throughout the UK and Ireland through their Clinical Mentoring Programme, to deliver high quality and consistent clinical and educational skills in implant dentistry.

The benefits of a reputable training pathway and working closely with a Mentor to achieve consistent clinical outcomes and gain valuable hands-on experience in implant procedures should not be underestimated. This level of guidance is the safest and most effective way to start successfully and confidently placing and restoring implants within your practice.

In my first year all my cases were first and second premolar implant placements, but through the guidance of a mentor I have been able to develop my skills and undertake the placement and restoration of implants in all sites, as well as sinus and bone grafts. When I compare my level of clinical care now to when I first started out in implants I can see a huge difference in not only my clinical capabilities, but my restorative skills too.”

Milisha Chotai, DDS, MSc, PGDip, PGCert

For more information on how to get started with dental implants visit straumann.co.uk or call Straumann on 01293 651270. To join the Straumann Clinical Mentoring Programme visit straumannmentoring.co.uk

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FEB
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Building the Foundations of a Successful Career

Building the Foundations of a Successful Career

Michaela Deseta, a dental hygienist and therapist currently studying to become a dentist, shares her career experiences so far, highlighting the importance of practical work for career progression.

 

During my degree in Dental Hygiene and Therapy at the University of Portsmouth I found that I particularly enjoyed the therapy side of the course. However, securing a job in this domain is difficult as the vast majority of jobs available are for private hygiene. Therefore, following graduation in 2010 I began an optional Therapy Vocational Training (TVT) year with Rodericks Dental, where I was initially placed at a practice in Newbury and then in Slough.

 

The TVT year was fantastic and involved four days a week in the practice treating patients under supervision and one day attending practical and theoretical courses at either Oxford or Slough hospitals. These informative days covered a multitude of areas, from ethics to hands-on patient care and were a brilliant way to enhance learning. My TVT year greatly improved my confidence and clinical skills, both with hygiene and therapy.

 

Following the TVT year, I remained working and spent my time split between various practices including Newbury, High Wycombe, Wallingford and Farnborough. I loved providing therapy to patients and particularly enjoyed treating children who came to see me for prevention, fillings and extractions.

 

The practical experience gained whilst working in these practices reflected positively in my applications and allowed me to attain a place at Kings College London to study dentistry. I enrolled on the course in 2012 and I am now in my fourth year. My tutors have been impressed with my clinical skills and confidence with treating patients, which has allowed me to advance further. Having treated patients previously through my job, the enhanced knowledge and skills I had developed helped me to win some prestigious academic and clinical prizes.

 

Alongside my degree I work part-time as a dental hygienist at Rodericks’ Marylebone House Practice. With its evening and weekend opening hours, I am able to easily fit in work around my studies and the dental nursing support provided by the group makes my sessions much less stressful. Earning a decent wage compared to working within another sector has also made a huge difference to me financially throughout my degree.

 

Rodericks Dental has been an ideal corporate to work for as they have several practices throughout England and Wales. Every time I have moved location during my five years of working for the group, I have been able to get work at a practice nearby which has been brilliant. Furthermore, I like the fact that all the practices have the same high standard of patient care and follow the same protocols and procedures, making it easy to move between practices. Working within several practices and with highly experienced professionals, I gained skills that proved integral for fast progression and have stood me in good stead for the future of my dental career.

 

For more information please visit www.rodericksdental.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01604 602491.

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