Dental implants: we need to work together – The Association of Dental Implantology (ADI)

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  Posted by: The Probe      7th October 2018

Despite becoming more widely available, dental implantology still remains a comparatively new option for patients suffering from edentulism. This, alongside the financial investment involved and the complex nature of dental implant surgery, may cause patients to feel intimidated by procedures. Therefore it is more important than ever to ensure members of staff across your whole practice have the knowledge and skills they need to help patients feel at ease and provide effective care before, during and after treatment.

Reception staff

Although they may not be directly involved in the clinical procedures, it is still imperative to ensure that reception staff can give patients peace of mind.

A friendly welcome goes a long way; however, reception staff should also be able to answer rudimentary questions about procedures in case a patient has any concerns. For example, being able to answer any financial queries or provide basic information about the types of treatments available would be useful. This will ensure that a patient feels confident that everyone in the practice is organised and able to give them the support they need as soon as they step through the door.

Dentists

Beyond initial training in dental implantology, it is necessary that dentists keep up to date with any advances in the field in order to continue providing the best care. Research on dental implants is constantly developing and new evidence arises all the time as to which type of implant may be effective for certain cases, or which materials may provide greater success. Similarly, new concepts become available that provide treatment options for more patients, including those who present with particularly complex problems.

It follows that by keeping up to date with what’s going on in their field dentists are likely to be able to find techniques and products that benefit the way they work as well as providing the most suitable solution for patients.

Dental nurses

Dental nurses play a key role in assisting dental implant procedures, and therefore it is vital that they are equipped with the knowledge needed to tackle common challenges. They can assist during surgery by making sure the correct instruments are accessible at the right times to ensure a smooth workflow.

By learning about the various components and materials used in implant procedures, dental nurses can also be more involved in the treatment process. Whether that consists of taking on a treatment coordinator role or simply ensuring that each patient has the answers to any of their questions, they can make a huge difference to the patient experience.

Most dental nurses also have a responsibility to ensure as clean an environment for dental implant procedures as possible. This means they should know how to perform tasks such as processing instruments and effective decontamination procedures, creating a safe environment for every patient.

Dental hygienists and therapists

With dental implants, aftercare is just as important as the surgical procedure. Without proper maintenance patients run the risk of developing peri-implantitis, and this could lead to dental implant failure.[i]Therefore, it is paramount that dental hygienists and therapists are fully equipped with relevant aftercare knowledge.

Research has found that support therapy for patients who have received dental implant treatment significantly cuts down the likelihood of peri-implantitis.[ii]As such, hygienists and therapists should be able to give patients the advice and tailored support to help prevent infection.

Regular check-ups should be scheduled so that practitioners can monitor the patient after their dental implant placement and/or restoration. This gives professionals the opportunity to see how an implant is healing, and provide any guidance and/or tailored cleaning programme for the patient to help ensure that the risk of peri-implantitis is lessened.

Training for all

In light of this, effective training and education is necessary for all members of the team to optimise dental implant procedures and help patients feel confident that they are receiving the best level of care every step of the way.

The Association of Dental Implantology (ADI) supports this education, and hosts a number of dedicated ADI Study Clubs for those looking to develop their knowledge. These ADI Study Clubs are free for ADI members and concentrate on educating team members on the latest techniques, materials and products, helping them gain the confidence needed to provide exceptional patient care.

A team effort

Effective dental implant treatment is a team effort. Everyone should know which part to play, and with the proper training and information at hand, the dental team can help every patient benefit from a successful and long-lasting outcome.

 

For information on the ADI and upcoming events, please visit www.adi.org.uk

 

 

[i]Prathapachandran, J., Suresh, N. Management of Peri-Implantitis. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2012; 9(5): 516–521.

 

[ii]Ramanauskaite, A., Tervonen, T. The Efficacy of Supportive Peri-Implant Therapies in Preventing Peri-Implantitis and Implant Loss: a Systematic Review of the Literature. J Oral Maxillofac Res. 2016; 7(3): e12.


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