The dental implant kaleidoscope

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  Posted by: Dental Design      22nd May 2024

The traditional kaleidoscope is not often used as a metaphor for the dental implantology field. However, it fits well – implantology is a diverse and complex world with many different layers. Finding the right combination of accurate diagnostics, careful treatment planning and excellent surgical and restorative execution is essential for the beautiful, functional and long-lasting outcomes that patients deserve. Being able to deliver this depends on a number of factors, one of the most important being clinical education and training.

Impact on success rate

A substantial body of research has demonstrated a range of factors that affect implant success rates. These include patient age, length and diameter of the implant used, bone quality and region of the jaw in which the implant is being placed.[i]

It has also been determined that the level and type of education delivered to clinicians has an impact on the treatment delivered and survival rate they achieve for dental implants.[ii] Practitioners with more clinical training and experience have been shown to achieve shorter operating times.[iii] In addition, research has found an association between the number of implants a dentist has placed and the success of treatment outcomes.[iv]

As such, the quality of education that dentists seek as they begin to provide implants, and as they advance their skills, is critical in their ability to optimise results.

Aesthetics and function

Societal pressures and trends have led to an increase in aesthetic demand among patients seeking any type of dental treatment, including implants. As such, patient satisfaction is often now determined by a combination of functionality, longevity and aesthetics.[v] This means ensuring high survival rates alone is not enough for a happy implant patient.

To optimise aesthetic outcomes, clinicians have to consider a host of elements from implant location to the position of adjacent teeth, the gingival biotype, the smile line and the unique anatomy at the surgical site.[vi] To achieve all of this and more, the clinician’s education once again comes to the forefront. It is the dentist’s duty to have undertaken sufficient clinical training so as to be able to manage cases effectively and facilitate the best possible outcome for the patient.

A broad education

Consequently, it is important that the dental implant training sought incorporates a wide range of relevant topics, from basic oral surgical skills to soft tissue management techniques, bone grafting solutions, sinus lifting procedures, socket preservation and more. Even for clinicians who choose not to perform certain aspects in-house, it remains crucial to have knowledge of all evidence-based and emerging treatment options available in the market. Only then is it possible to discuss all relevant solutions with patients and ensure fully informed consent during the planning process.

It is also crucial that dentists obtain a combination of theoretical and hands-on training to enable their skill development.[vii] The latter is especially important when learning new techniques or trying new materials, giving the clinician practical knowledge that will allow them to safely perform the treatment in practice. 

Completing the puzzle

Finding high-quality education across the range of topics required can be challenging for dentists and their teams, but there are highly trusted sources available here in the UK.

ADI Congress 2023, ICC Birmingham UK. Credit: Mike Wilkinson. Copyright: Mike Wilkinson.

The Association of Dental Implantology (ADI) is dedicated to supporting professional education across the dental implant field. The highly-anticipated ADI Team Congress is an excellent example of the training and knowledge sharing that is made available to members and non-members alike. Not only does the programme feature world-class speakers who are keen to share their expertise in a broad range of related subjects, but it also caters to the needs of the entire dental implant team. The 2025 event is set to encapsulate everything that modern dental implantology is today, with both learning and networking opportunities for implant dentists to take advantage of. Entitled “The Implant Aesthetic Kaleidoscope”, the Congress will be held on 1-3 May at the Brighton Centre – it is a not-to-be-missed event for anyone with an interest in dental implants or who is looking to take their skills to new heights.

Whether you are just starting out on your dental implant journey, or you have several years of experience, it is always important to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date. This is an incredibly multi-faceted field with countless opportunities to improve patient quality of life, but with this power, comes a responsibility to do so in the safest way possible. Ensure your professional training and education is continuous and of adequate quality to enjoy a long and prosperous career in dental implantology.

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Author: Dr. Zaki Kanaan President ADI

Dr Zaki qualified from Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1996. His main interests lie in all aspects of Cosmetic Dentistry with a special interest in Dental Implant Treatment, where he has achieved a Masters Degree from the GKT Dental Institute in 2001.


[i] Raikar S, Talukdar P, Kumari S, Panda SK, Oommen VM, Prasad A. Factors Affecting the Survival Rate of Dental Implants: A Retrospective Study. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2017 Nov-Dec;7(6):351-355. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_380_17. Epub 2017 Dec 29. PMID: 29387619; PMCID: PMC5774056.

[ii] Sonkar, J., Maney, P., Yu, Q. et al. Retrospective study to identify associations between clinician training and dental implant outcome and to compare the use of MATLAB with SAS. Int J Implant Dent 5, 28 (2019).

[iii] Sun, TM., Lee, HE. & Lan, TH. The influence of dental experience on a dental implant navigation system. BMC Oral Health 19, 222 (2019).

[iv] Sendyk, Daniel & Chrcanovic, Bruno & Albrektsson, Tomas & Wennerberg, Ann & Deboni, Maria. (2017). Does Surgical Experience Influence Implant Survival Rate? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The International Journal of Prosthodontics. 30. 341-347. 10.11607/ijp.5211.

[v] McCrea SJJ. An Analysis of Patient Perceptions and Expectations to Dental Implants: Is There a Significant Effect on Long-Term Satisfaction Levels? Int J Dent. 2017;2017:8230618. doi: 10.1155/2017/8230618. Epub 2017 Aug 8. PMID: 28928771; PMCID: PMC5591937.

[vi] Forna N, Agop-Forna D. Esthetic aspects in implant-prosthetic rehabilitation. Med Pharm Rep. 2019 Dec;92(Suppl No 3):S6-S13. doi: 10.15386/mpr-1515. Epub 2019 Dec 15. PMID: 31989103; PMCID: PMC6978930.

[vii] Ferro AS, Nicholson K, Koka S. Innovative Trends in Implant Dentistry Training and Education: A Narrative Review. J Clin Med. 2019 Oct 4;8(10):1618. doi: 10.3390/jcm8101618. PMID: 31590228; PMCID: PMC6832343.

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