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From many years of experience providing and teaching dental implants to many dentists I have seen people come to dental implant training from many different angles and areas. 

Classically, young dentists relatively newly started in their dental careers may be keen to learn about dental implants and to build a solid foundation for a future career where dental implant treatments form some (or even most) of their practice. 


Fill out the form to download your own copy of this Implant Dentistry Ebook. 


From many years of experience providing and teaching dental implants to many dentists I have seen people come to dental implant training from many different angles and areas. 

Classically, young dentists relatively newly started in their dental careers may be keen to learn about dental implants and to build a solid foundation for a future career where dental implant treatments form some (or even most) of their practice. 

At other times, we will see experienced principles or long-term experienced associates who are focused on other aspects of their clinical work (sometimes restorative, sometimes endodontics) and decide that the time is now right to invest the time and the energy into bringing dental implants into their practice at their own hands. 

Finally, we also see people in the later parts of their career who have decided to reinvigorate their clinical practice by learning a skill which simply wasn’t available or taught when they were at the beginning of their dental careers. 


Whichever route you decide to take there are certain things that we, at The Campbell Academy, consider to be absolutely essential in the consideration of whether or not you should embark on dental implant training and how you might focus it to your own needs and requirements. 

Choosing Where to Begin

Before deciding to embark on a course in dental implant treatments which brings with it an enormous investment in time, energy, emotions and money it’s very important to ask this significant question:

“What do I want to achieve?”

This may seem like an obvious question but if your aim is to become someone who provides full time dental implant treatments at a specialist level then your pathway and your course of training should be tailored towards that. 

This will involve hospital appointment, training pathway and examinations to take you to the level of specialist or consultant before embarking on a career in practice or in hospital providing dental implant treatments for the majority of your work. For everyone else no real structured pathway exists for one individual person, and therefore it is necessary to understand where you would like to go and to try and create a bespoke plan to get you to that destination safely and as competently as you can. 

Once you have decided on what your outcome should be you can then decide the best way to achieve the different training requirements for a happy and fulfilling career in implant dentistry. 

At The Campbell Academy we believe there are three distinct components of dental implant education which are all essential in developing a competent practitioner.

What are the Fundamental Requirements of Dental Implant Training

Gone are the days of the ‘weekend warrior’. Gone are the days when we could turn up for a 2-day Saturday and Sunday surgical and restorative course and be deemed competent in implant treatments and begin to provide these for a patient without any other help and guidance. 

Amazingly, that is the way the world was though when I started in implant dentistry in the late 1990’s, with minimal education available and very little regulation in the subjects. 

A 2-day course is seen as the bench mark and the good practitioners would go to an international conference once a year. 

Nowadays the choice is almost overwhelming and bewildering, the responsibility lies with an individual practitioner to construct their own training pathway to meet their own training needs. This is tied in very closely with the personal development profile as required by your GDC registration. 

At The Campbell Academy we believe there are three distinct components of dental implant education which are all essential in developing a competent practitioner:

1. Structured, theoretical education 

This is the bedrock to almost any training pathway and involves the creation of a syllabus and learning outcomes to ensure that practitioners who attend these educational events are given the information to be at a minimum standard of capability and competence. This is provided in the form of lectures, discussions, interactive sessions and practical sessions on models and specimens. It is definitely possible to get an excellent theoretical understanding of surgery through this type of education, but impossible to obtain practical aptitude through this route alone. 

This is where the old fashioned 2-day ‘weekend warrior’ courses went wrong, without any practical involvement. 

It’s impossible to teach a practical skill in a classroom alone. 

2. Practical teaching

For implant dentistry, practical teaching means placing and restoring dental implants into live patients. 

This is a fundament part of The Campbell Academy ethos

and for the majority of our courses there is access to live teaching in the form of live surgical skills in dental implant treatments. We encourage delegates to bring patients to the courses and to be educated and mentored in clinical situations. We also encourage delegates to learn from other people’s clinical experiences at that time to further cement their knowledge and to grow their experience. 

3. Historically there has been a huge difficulty though in courses that provide only part I and part II. 

Many people left one or even 2-year courses with very limited experience but no safety net to proceed in dental practice. This is why mentoring is the third corner stone of dental implant development. We know from long experience at The Campbell Academy that delegates that undergo and embark in mentoring arrangements and agreements are the ones who move forwards quickly and safely to a position of placing 50 implants per year or more, which we believe to be a level of sustainability in implant practice. 

In the past some of the statistics for people leaving dental implant courses was shocking, up to 93% of people who participated in surgical implant courses were not placing implants 2 years later. There is also a huge percentage of implant practitioners in the UK that place 15 dental implants per year or less, which is a figure which is unlikely to provide competency over any reasonable period of time. 

Why 50 Implants per Year?

At the beginning of The Campbell Academy we decided to set a target for our course attendees to move to placing 50 dental implants per year or more, be moving towards 50 dental implants per year or stopping placing implants. 

The reason for this philosophical approach is that there must be a number where competency exists and where practitioners are providing a reasonable amount of specific type of treatment to ensure that they are safe and reasonable in their treatment provision. 

50 implants per year in a dental practice allows you and your team to ‘practice’ the procedure regularly and to reflect and learn from your outcomes. 

It allows you to fund your service, increase indemnity, increase equipment and the training of your dental nurses, it allows you to provide regular dental implant treatments to grow the service that you provide, develop yourself and your team going forwards over years. 

We have manufactured and constructed a pathway which can support practitioners through the first five years of their dental implant careers.

At much below this number it is extremely difficult to provide such a service, and we believe that practitioners at that stage should consider the option of referring patients on to someone who is providing more dental implant surgery and concentrating on the restorative aspects. 

For most practitioners, the move towards 50 dental implants per year or more from a standing start with no implant provision, is likely to take several years. We have manufactured and constructed a pathway which can support practitioners through the first five years of their dental implant careers. Through year one courses, year two courses, masterclasses, study clubs and mentoring arrangements which allow people to keep in touch with a tribe of like-minded individuals as they develop through their implant journey towards being competent and capable implant providing colleagues.

What About Research

Many practitioners choose to undertake Masters qualification in particular subjects to improve their understanding and skills in relation to those treatments. 

An MSc or masters degree in implant dentistry often provides an excellent foundation for the understanding of the provision of implant dentistry and also an excellent understanding of the analysis and production of research associated with implant dentistry procedures. 

It is important though, when selecting your pathway for the next five years to ensure that the course that you choose and the money that you invest provides you with the outcome that you were looking for at the start of the decision of, ‘where do I want to go?’. 

Often a masters qualification seems an ability to investigate in depth different aspects of a subject in which you’re interested in in fine detail, therefore distracting you from the broad base of knowledge for the provision of your subject within a practice situation. 

For some people, a masters qualification is the ideal qualification and go away into implant dentistry, but it is not for everyone. 

Depending upon your starting point, your philosophy and your personality other possible routes of study and development exist which may be more suitable for non academic individuals. 

A Modular Approach

Not everyone wants to provide detailed research within their practice environment.

Not everyone wants to provide immediate full arch reconstructions from start to finish within their practice environment. 

Not everyone wants to proceed with sinus grafting within their practice environment. 

Not everyone will buy a CBCT scanner. 


The answer to these questions and many more were the reason why The Campbell Academy developed as a modular course base organisation. 

This gives prospective delegates the opportunity to design their own pathway. 

Following a year 1 course to provide the solid foundation in implant dentistry, in year 2 delegates can pick and choose from a range of modular courses which suit their practice and direction which they wish to travel. 

Following on from this The Campbell Academy has multiple masterclasses each year, high level clinicians on different subjects which also allow individuals to choose further development in different areas. 

We have a network of national mentors who have been trained for mentoring, accredited and work to a set financial framework to assist in the further development of our course delegates, and have progressed to a situation where they’re competent and confident to provide implant dentistry in their own practice environment. 

This is a competency based teaching model, which allows and promotes the reflection and development of clinical skills in practices through a group of individuals who share similar philosophies in the provision of healthcare. 

Online Discussion

The final corner stone in the development of practitioners in any clinical discipline is the ability to share, discuss and reflect on both the good and the bad experiences that occur in practice. 

In todays busy, modern environment this becomes more and more difficult for individuals to do which is why, at The Campbell Academy, we have set up an extensive network of online discussion platforms for courses and course delegates to be able to share in a closed and safe environment cases and experiences. 

This has become one of the most successful aspects of The Campbell Academy and is open to only course delegates and past course delegates who understand the philosophies and rules of engagement of such groups. 

Entirely different to things like Facebook because they’re closed, with no ability to share out beyond the group. This means there is a safe place to talk to friends and colleagues about things that have gone right and wrong. 

This ties in with the philosophy of:


1. Formal teaching

2. Practical teaching

3. Mentoring

4. Peer review and reflection 


We believe, for many people this is the ideal way to learn, over time, to become capable and ethical implant practitioners providing excellent treatments for patients, but knowing limitations and working collaboratively with other people within the profession. 


The future is bright with this model of education. It’s a wonderful way to work, to make friends and an exciting way to move forwards for the future of your practice. 

Profiles for People Beginning a Career in Implant Dentistry

1. Qualified within 5 years, keen to explore the opportunities within implant dentistry

2. Qualified for more than 5 years, working as an associate or principle in practice who has spent the early part of their career developing other clinical practices and disciplines, now keen to move into implant dentistry and to provide surgery for straightforward cases and restorative cases for implant dentistry under the help and guidance of more experienced clinicians. 

3. Entering the last third of their dental career, looking to reinvigorate clinical practice after being able to master many of the other disciplines of practice as a general practitioner. 


If you’re interested in looking into starting your Implant journey contact The Campbell Academy to discuss your options.

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