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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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