Getting involved in implant dentistry – are your surgical skills good enough?
Colin Campbell explains how The Campbell Academy can take you from a beginner to mastering the skill of implant dentistry.
There is a stage recognised by many dental clinicians in their careers where they consider the possibility of becoming involved in implant dentistry. One of the foundations of this discipline is to have knowledge of basic surgical skills.
I have written for years on this subject and I feel it is essential to have a love and an interest in surgical skills in order to be good at implant dentistry all the way through the pathway. It is absolutely possible to concentrate on implant dentistry from a restorative side alone and to leave the implant surgery to someone you know and trust. If you wish to place the implants as well it is essential to grasp the basics of surgical dentistry and to grasp them well.
There are many dental courses in implant dentistry and lots of dental training but there are only a certain amount of courses that teach you good principle and basic surgical skills including how to raise a flap, how to use a scalpel and even how to tie a suture properly. There is much more to a career in dentistry than dentistry at a low level including check ups and scales and polishes, but it involves investment emotionally, financially and from a time perspective. In implant dentistry this involves surgical techniques.
Encouraging surgical techniques
At The Campbell Academy we have developed many ways to encourage this in it’s simplest form, from how to tie a suture on models and teaching aids to the more complex aspects of placing dental implants under mentored guidance.
Nobody was ever good at doing anything the first time they did it, it takes hours of practice and multiple procedures to get good at tying a stitch. The truth is that once you manage these surgical skills it’s another string to your bow and a joy to your practising life.
Wasn’t it the case that dentists were always supposed to be surgeons? My working life has been embedded in surgery and it has been the one true love of my career, something I think can be shared with many other clinicians.
Almost any dentist who has mastered skills in restorative dentistry has the ability to master skills in surgery should they choose to. It’s just a question of the right direction in practice. At The Campbell Academy we have tried very hard to set this up using multiple teaching methods and believe we can introduce anyone to the interesting and exciting aspects of surgical dentistry required to become competent in implant dentistry.