Who can provide implant treatment?

Dental implant treatment can be provided by suitably trained and experienced dental practitioners or dental specialists such as Oral Surgeons, Maxillofacial Surgeons, Periodontologist, Prosthodontists, Restorative Dentists. Whereas straightforward treatment can be carried out by one suitably trained individual dentist, more complex cases normally require treatment by a team of dentists each providing a part of the treatment they have special expertise in. This is because only a few dentists can be expected to have all the necessary surgical, prosthodontics and restorative experience to undertake all aspects of complex cases.

Dental implants are not currently taught at undergraduate level at the Dental School. Therefore dentists need to develop additional skills and experience in this field of dentistry by attending postgraduate courses in order to gain the clinical skills necessary to provide both the surgical and restorative aspects of implant treatment.

The General Dental Council declared recently that dentists who wish to practise implant dentists should be  trained by attending structured courses and develop clinical skills under supervision of an experienced mentor as well as been assessed to demonstrate the acquisition of necessary knowledge and clinical skills. There are university postgraduate courses which award PGDip/MSc degrees in implant dentistry. Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (FGDP) of England also award a PD Diploma in Implant Dentistry by assessment based on clinical experience. 

Implant treatment is classified into straight forward (S) and Advanced/Complex level of complexities(AC) (SAC classification, ITI.org). Dentist who provide treatment at a higher level of complexity are expected to have training and experience at a higher level (Training Standards in Implant Dentistry, 2012).

There is also requirement that dentists maintain a logbook of implant cases and audit these to show evidence of their clinical experience.

ICE clinicians:
a) have postgraduate degrees such as PGDip/MSc in implant dentistry
b) have developed clinical experience under the supervision of trained mentors
c) use specially developed DIR software based on patient reported outcomes measures (PROMS) to audit the results of their implant cases
d) are committed to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep up to date with current best practice, guidelines and evidence based approach to provision of implant dentistry


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