Dental surgeon Dr Jonathan Kennair talks about the important role of a mentor and how effective training has been the key to his success in delivering high-quality implant treatment.
With new techniques, along with significant improvements in implant design, implant treatment is now available to more patients than it ever was in the past. More general dental professionals have the opportunity to get involved in implant dentistry at differing levels, particularly now we are in the age of digital technology, mentorship and robust training courses.
My passion for dental implants and oral surgery really began during my VT training and seeing implants being placed in practice for the first time. Keen to learn more and after recommendations from my VT trainer I applied to join the Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Implant Dentistry course in 2008, known at that time as ‘A Multi-System Implantology Certificate Course’. Led by Prof. Cemal Ucer BDS, MSc, PhD, Oral Surgeon, a highly-regarded authority on implant education and co-author of the FGDP training standards, this course was the ideal introduction to implant dentistry for me, offering a valuable opportunity to work alongside Cemal, who went on to become one of my trusted mentors.
Using the course as a platform, I’ve since obtained a Masters in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, a Fellowship in Oral Surgery and have recently completed the Diploma in Implant Dentistry RCS Ed. This course was also my first introduction to the ITI as a valuable educational resource and superb professional network of like-minded people, something which I am still a big part of.
The benefits of mentoring
Having supervision from an experienced mentor is all about sharing knowledge and experience. The benefit of working with a mentor is that “you don’t know what you don’t know” when you start out in implant dentistry and you really need the help of someone who is vastly experienced or limited in that field. As a proponent of mentoring, Cemal is open, honest and very approachable, and is passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the subject. He takes time to explain why he does things in a certain way, how to avoid potential problems and how to rectify them if they do occur.
I ultimately gained Dr Edmondson as a mentor and he has become a colleague and a friend, and I now work with him in his referral practice. Prior to my formal mentoring with Dr Edmondson, Cemal was a huge support with my first implant case and advised that I work with a mentor directly for implant planning and placement as well as encouraging me to pursue further education and courses in this field. His first-hand advice proved invaluable, as it gave me the opportunity to present cases to him in advance using models and radiographs. In hindsight, I was probably quite nervous and slightly apprehensive at the time, but thanks to the course training, as well as observing both my VT trainer and Cemal in surgery, I was inspired to pursue surgical implant dentistry as my main clinical focus.
A structured foundation
As testament to its success, the Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Implant Dentistry course is now in its 25th year. Recently awarded Level 7 EduQual accreditation, the mulit-system course continues to evolve and grow as new dental technology comes in and techniques advance. Today, delegates benefit from the prestigious ICE Postgraduate Dental Institute & Hospital in Manchester that offers state-of-the-art teaching facilities, including a fully equipped operating theatre, dental surgery and lab with a CBCT scanner.
Having enthusiastic speakers with educational qualification on an accredited course alongside experts in their field who introduce a range of different aspects and viewpoints about implant dentistry and who you can talk openly with and share ideas, is an ideal learning environment. One of the great things about attending the multi-system Postgraduate Certificate course is that it’s suitable for everyone who wants to get involved in implant dentistry. If you’re only interested in restoration such a course would still be appropriate as it gives an appreciation of the surgical side which everyone involved in implants needs to have. It’s a chance to get hands-on with implants, understand how implant components work, what is achievable and most importantly, recognise your own limitations and know when to refer.
The future is bright
Around three years ago, I made the decision to limit myself completely to oral surgery and implant dentistry. The Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Implant Dentistry course and concomitant mentoring with Dr Edmondson was the start of quite a journey over the past eight years. It’s taken this time to progressively limit to just this area of practice, however I have found that this is an extremely rewarding area of clinical practice and I’m very happy to have made that decision, and now mentor other dentists as they begin their own implant journeys.
To start your career in implant dentistry, book your place onto Ucer Education’s next Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Implant Dentistry course, starting 21st November 2018 CLICK HERE or call 0161 237 1842 today.
Dr. Jonathan Kennair
BDS(Ncl), MFDS RCS(Ed), MJDF RCS(Eng), MSc OMFS(Manc) FFDRCSI (OSOM), Dip Imp Dent RCS(Ed)Honorary Clinical Teaching Fellow in Oral Surgery, University of Manchester
Co-director of ITI Manchester Study Club