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Pushing the Boundaries of Education and Training in Implant Dentistry


Clinical competency is the foundation for excellence in dentistry. Through high quality and on-going training and education, professionals acquire and develop the appropriate skills that enable them to deliver safe and effective dental treatment to their patients.


Particularly in such a fast-paced profession as dentistry, where techniques, materials and technologies are rapidly advancing and changing the way treatment is provided, remaining abreast of the latest innovations and ideas is vital. Not only does this ensure competency to treat patients in the most appropriate way, but it also allows practitioners to enhance the dental care and treatment they offer. 


What’s more, it’s important to develop knowledge and understanding in a broad range of areas. For example, if you wish to offer implant treatment to patients it is clear that you need to complete advanced training so that you have the skills necessary for the provision of safe and effective services. However, even as a GDP who doesn’t provide such treatment directly to patients, you still need sufficient knowledge that will enable you to assess the health of implant supported restorations that you may encounter.


Whether clinicians require education for the placement, restoration or maintenance of dental implants, it is paramount that any training completed is of the highest calibre.


Passionate about improving awareness of and access to first-class tuition in the field is Ken Nicholson. Ken is the founder of the British Society of Oral Implantology, a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and a member of the Faculty of Examiners at RCS Edinburgh, amongst many other accolades. He is also the founder of SmileTube.tv, a learning portal designed to ensure practitioners’ competency in implant treatment. He says:


“The widespread use and published success of dental implant supported restorations is encouraging more and more GDPs to become involved in this treatment modality. A visit to the dentist’s section of the Yellow Pages makes it difficult to ignore the fact that an increasing number of practitioners are using the label ‘Cosmetic and Implant Practice’. Ensuring the clinician has the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake dental implant treatment is of paramount importance.


“The GDC’s required learning outcomes of undergraduate education for Dentists: The First Five Years states that dental students should ‘be familiar with dental implants as an option in replacing missing teeth’. UK-qualified dentists are not expected to practise implant dentistry without undertaking structured postgraduate training and assessment of competence.


“The first step towards treating a patient is case assessment, where attention to detail and identification of the salient features of the case are essential. Even if a general practitioner does not wish to provide implant treatment, it is almost certain that he or she will be caring for patients with implant-supported restorations. A component of that care will be assessment of the health of the implant restoration(s) for which an understanding of implant dentistry is essential.”


For those wishing to perform implant treatment themselves, it is crucial that any training undertaken is carefully designed to provide both the theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience clinicians need to ensure their clinical competency.


Through SmileTube.tv, practitioners have access to a structured, blended learning programme that is tailored to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skill to place and restore dental implants, in a safe environment. The course involves four online modules, which can be completed at a time and from a place of the delegate’s choosing for ultimate engagement and effectiveness of learning. Training concludes with eight clinical days where delegates can develop practical skills for placing and restoring implants, while under the supervision of leading implant practitioners across the country and with access to cutting-edge facilities.


“The SmileTube.tv ‘Ultimate Implant Year Course’ delivered in partnership with Nobel Biocare provides delegates with the core knowledge and competence in implant dentistry expected of a GDP, as described by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for the Diploma in Implant Dentistry at the College,” continues Ken. “The knowledge component of the course, and assessment of that knowledge, is delivered online through the purpose designed e-learning platform SmileTube.tv, and delegates are able to revisit any material as many times as they need for the duration of the course. The clinical skills component, and skills assessment, is delivered through one of a network of clinical training centres throughout the UK and Ireland.


“I believe Nobel Biocare to be a global leader in implant dentistry with a hugely impressive and well documented track record. It is a proactive, innovative and forward-thinking company keen to support education and training for the GDP, which arguably offers the most comprehensive range of services, products and materials in the industry. The latest implant design from Nobel Biocare, the NobelParallel® Conical Connection (CC) implant will be one of the implant designs used on the SmileTube.tv course and promises to be an excellent platform for the newcomer to implant dentistry.


“As Nobel Biocare has been innovative in its approach to implant dentistry, SmileTube.tv has been innovative in its approach to education and training in the field. We hope to develop a passionate, global learning community, pushing the boundaries of education and training in implant dentistry to provide a better experience for our learners and a safe and predictable outcome for their patients.”



For more details on the learning opportunities available, please visit www.smiletube.tv, email Janine our Learning Community Facilitator on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0289 252 8522.


For more information about the exciting innovations available from Nobel Biocare, please call 0208 756 3300 or visit www.nobelbiocare.com


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