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While it is a good idea to focus on one single implant system when you’re learning straightforward implant dentistry so as not to become confused, one must also be wary of commercial pressures and the unconscious pressure that a company will have to push you as hard as possible into implant dentistry to get a return on the sponsorship of a course.
A 3 – 5 day intensive training course is never likely to provide you with all the skills and insights required to provide good implant dentistry at a straightforward level because the course is over too quickly and there isn’t enough time for reflection or review. The danger following these courses is that you are ‘released to the wild’ with minimal support and the prospect of placing implants on your own, in your practice, is terrifying.
It’s worth remembering that an MSc (Master of Science) is essentially a research degree. This is designed to give you a greater insight into research in your subject and a deeper knowledge of the subject itself. MSc’s historically were not designed to provide teaching and experience in practical skills, although, in order to make them more attractive to delegates in the UK, practical
elements have been introduced in many Masters courses.
The essence of an MSc is to provide a dissertation or project at the end, demonstrating your understanding and deeper knowledge of a subject in relation to research.
While an MSc is a fantastic and phenomenal qualification to obtain, it may not provide you with the practical experience or practical guidance you require to start you on the path to become a good implant surgeon. It is perhaps a qualification to achieve later once experience has been gained.
There are implant courses, diplomas, MSc’s and examinations provided by Royal Colleges and hospitals throughout the country.
Some of these courses show exceptional content and exceptional tutors but it’s important to understand that there is a pyramid of knowledge to obtain in implant dentistry. This starts with straightforward, moving to advanced and finally complex before heading into a career which may then consider teaching back to people at a straightforward level to close the loop.
You must carefully examine the content of each of the courses and be realistic on what you think you can achieve. If a course is promoting teaching in complex implant treatment modalities and you have not placed very many dental implants then it’s likely this course would be over your head or the aspirations of the course will be unattainable.
Checking the syllabus prior to a course and matching it with your level of skill and your aspirations is essential.
Year-long courses or modular courses tend to offer one or two days per month throughout a year for between 10 – 20 days of teaching per year. These courses provide enormous amounts of CPD hours, usually multiple faculty members and sometimes multiple systems.
It’s very important in these course to assess whether they meet your needs, whether they’re providing implant education at the level you want (straightforward, advanced or complex) whether they’re a multi system, if that is what you desire, whether they focus on a single system, whether they're taking dental ethics into consideration, but most importantly of all, whether they have a
practical element and some form of mentoring aspect.
To learn the theoretical knowledge for a year is fabulous, but if it’s not combined with a practical element you are unlikely to embed the information, the knowledge and the skills to be able to provide treatment in your own practice.
Often, we’re asked which option will get individuals to the goal of being an implant surgeon fastest.
Some people are further down the journey than others when they begin, both in terms of skills and communication. At The Campbell Academy we believe this is a long-term process to reach a level of placing approximately fifty implants per year or more to be competent, and therefore strive for each delegate to achieve this during our Year Implant Course.
We absolutely believe that to place less than this in a practice over time is not sufficient enough to develop the individual, the team or the surroundings and people should consider that when moving along with their personal development.
To reach a competent level to be able to move to advanced and complex implant dentistry its likely to take years not months and the career pathway in dentistry is to become secure and competent in straightforward implant dentistry before heading towards advanced and then complex implant dentistry.
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