Inserting dental implants is a surgical procedure that should be carried out by dentists with suitable training most preferably oral surgeons, this knocks out ordinary dentists who deem themselves fit to undertake the operation. It is also important to note that the success of a dental implant largely depends on the skills and expertise of the dentist and the dental implant team.
Dental implant technique is not usually taught at the college level and so a dentist should enroll for a postgraduate training course in implant dentistry and go through an assessment of competence. Training can come from a variety of sources including university, Royal College or hospital-based programs, as well as from courses run by commercial groups or individuals who are qualified and registered. There are guidelines on the minimum training requirements that dentists are expected to have successfully completed before undertaking implants. The General Dental Council refers to these guidelines when assessing complaints against dentists who have allegedly practiced implant dentistry beyond their competence.
Before enrolling for implant courses for dentists, a dental practitioner should have a good personal level of ability and experience in the areas of restorative and surgical dentistry. Failure to have a good level of expertise in both areas will most likely impact on the acquisition of further knowledge and skills in implant dentistry; in most cases dentists attend implant courses with little or no experience in surgery and somehow expect to be trained in both basic surgical skills and implant surgery at the same time. Course organizers should include these requirements before admission as it will ensure that the goals of the course are achieved.
The content used in implant courses for dentists should be evidence-based, the materials used by the tutors should not merely be theoretical literature; there should be practical incidences that occur in the clinic’s day to day activities. This will provide the dentists with a clear picture of what to expect during the implantation and the solutions thereof. Additionally, at the end of the course there should be a recognition given to show the stages that a dentist underwent and that he or she is qualified to carry out a dental implant. It is therefore important to ensure that the given course organizers are registered and certified with the statutory dental health bodies.