As dentists, we are all in one way or another involved with implants. The high success rate seen industry-wide with implants makes them the first choice for edentulous areas of the mouth for every practitioner. All dental specialists include implants as an option in interdisciplinary treatment plans when communicating with GPs.
One of this month’s Implants Today topics is the implant practice. As dentists, we are all in one way or another involved with implants. The high success rate seen industry-wide with implants makes them the first choice for edentulous areas of the mouth for every practitioner. All dental specialists include implants as an option in interdisciplinary treatment plans when communicating with general practitioners (GPs).
Any GP can choose to focus on implant treatment whether it be the surgical or prosthetic phases (or both). I recommend it; the decision to become involved with the placement and restoration of implants has been the best practice decision I have ever made. I enjoy the responsibility of, as the late Carl Misch said, “replacing millions of years of evolution that has failed.” I feel the awareness of that responsibility of replacing a natural event brings the needed respect that implant dental treatment commands. Once you choose to be involved with implant treatment as a practitioner, you will see how challenging it is (in a good way). Implant dentistry has been called a surgical discipline with a prosthetic component. This inter-relationship of surgery and prosthetics lends to a multitude of discussions and learning opportunities about many areas of dentistry. Dentists who wish to make implants a part of their treatment options need to be knowledgeable in aesthetic dentistry, occlusion, bone grafting, soft-tissue grafting, medical history, treatment planning, dental biomechanics, exodontia, orthodontics, and more. Being educated about every aspect of dentistry is what makes implant dentistry so enjoyable and engaging.
As the clinician gets more involved with implant treatment, especially the surgical aspects, the more involved the entire dental team must be. For me, running a practice with a strong surgical and prosthetic emphasis requires a true team effort. This month, we have an excellent article by Dr. Charles Schlesinger that addresses this issue. He emphasizes, amongst many other points, the importance of involvement by the entire team when delivering implant treatment. In my practice, this starts with the team members at the reception desk. When my receptionist takes a phone call from a patient asking about implant treatment, the call is immediately passed on to our implant treatment plan coordinator. The coordinator then determines the next steps that will eventually involve various dentists, assistants, hygienists, and more. I feel the entire team in an implant practice should be educated about all aspects of implant treatment. Team efforts are rewarding!
In another informative article this month, Dr. Barry McArdle discusses the clinical aspects of abutment design related to peri-implantitis. Clinical topics such as this and Dr. Schlesinger’s are all a part of learning about the implant practice.
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