Convert “staycation” in an opportunity to improve in Implant Dentistry!
News are all doom and gloom. Virus spreading, lives at risk, clinics closed and “staycation” on the rise for us all. But maybe this is the time to hit the “pause” button and get some time for all the things we have been postponing in our previously hectic working lives. The sun will shine again and sooner or later normality will return to our lives. Instead of sitting idle in gloom, why not spend the time to prepare yourself, your practice and your team for the new “babyboom” which will inevitably follow the end of the pandemic!
Step 1: LEARN !
The time has never been better to take an on-line course and learn what you always wanted, but you never had the time! Some really amazing resources are out there at no cost – evidence-based and quality assessed!
After endless web-surfing, here come my top picks:
Take a MOOC!
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and “ HKU Implant Dentistry” has been a pioneer, being the first such course in a clinical discipline. A dream-team of more than 20 experts from all over the world will guide you through a journey in the world of comprehensive care with dental implants and thousands of peers from all over the world will accompany you in your quest. Five modules with a pathway for everyone, novice or specialist alike!
Find it at Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/learn/implant-dentistry
…too many questions? Ask EAO!
The European Association of Osseointegration, a leading authority in Implant Dentistry has recently initiated the “just ask” live sessions, with leading global experts in Implant Dentistry. All of the sessions are now available in the EAO Youtube Channel, together with recorded congress sessions, clinical videos from all annual contests, debates and interviews.
Everything you always wondered and more!
Access the EAO Channel at:
…ITI@Home: best time to learn online!
The International Team for Implantology (ITI) has since long invested to create probably the largest repository of Implant Dentistry content. This is now crystalised in the ITI Online Academy – a repository of more than 750 learning items – and the ITI Curriculum – a structured online pathway to grow in Implant Dentistry.
Guess what: The complete ITI Online Academy is now free for dentists all over the world for the whole of April!
Register for free access at ITI@Home: https://www.iti.org/academy/iti-at-home?pk_campaign=ITI_at_home&pk_kwd=learn-more
A global mega-blog: Zerodonto!
Zerodonto is an institution in online learning communities in Dentistry! Valued by millions of colleagues all over the world, it extends to all areas of clinical dentistry with enough content for every level and discipline. Detailed case presentations and videos, including a clinical contest that attracts top clinicians from all over the world. Search and you will find. For sure!
Access Zerodonto at: https://www.zerodonto.com/en/
Clinical science made simple: check the Periospot!
The Blog created by Dr. Francisco Teixeira Barbosa and his team, by now a well established learning hub for implant dentistry and periodontology in both the English and Spanish speaking world! Distinguished for their ability to present complex clinical topics in a simple and intuitive manner, while the visuals and animations are top notch!
Access Periospot at: https://periospot.com/
Do you wonder what is the latest in clinical practice? Now is the time to update your practice with the latest standards and evidence-based guidelines! Where best to start than the latest Consensus Workshops!
ITI Consensus Papers!
The International Team for Implantology (ITI), as the largest global organisation in Implant Dentistry prides in a large Consensus Conference every 5 years. Hundreds of experts work for months to scrutinise the scientific literature in order to produce meaningful and effective guidelines. Each workshop produces several important review and consensus papers, including meaningful clinical recommendations to keep your practice in line with the highest standards. In the free database offered by the ITI Online Academy not only you can access all these papers since 2003, but you can actually search the topic you are interested in through very handy keyword search function.
Bonus stage: try to find how many friends can you spot in the group photo of the experts
Access it all at:
The EAO Consensus !
The European Association of Osseointegration maintains also a free page with all Consensus Conference papers since 2006, although not searchable. You can also read a bit more about how consensus workshops are structured and why they are essential!
Access it at:
Step 2: SHARE !
Having studied all resources is only the start! Sharing what you learned (or you think you learned) is a great complement to learning, allow us to reflect, prioritise and finally reach a deeper level of comprehension. Trying to teach what you know or expose your views to peer feedback, debate and discussion is one of the strongest pathways to master a topic.
So why not take some time to go through all these past cases you have treated and identify a few interesting ones that match (or maybe challenge!) with what you recently learned? Reflect on past experiences, things that now retrospectively you can see you did well or you did not manage properly? Check your records, browse your photos, remember your challenges of the past year. The more you know, the more you will see looking back t your own practice!
So when you spot something worth discussion why not share it in a group of colleagues? Don’t worry about the numbers, just dare and share. The process of sharing will kickstart a transformation process that will fast track your learning. It can be your partner in the clinic, your closest school mates, your mentor or the whole world if you chose one of the many dentists’ group on social media.
If however, you chose to share with a large group, this is some I would recommend:
Periodontics and Implant International Study Club
A closed facebook group for dentists, with currently more than 50,000 members. Created and curated by Dr. Marina Maka and her team, it is an open forum collectively peer-reviewed by thousands of active members. You can agree or disagree, debate, argue all in a collegial spirit. Exposing your views to colleagues all over the world is not always easy and maybe not for everyone. But it is certainly worth the trouble.
Access PIISC at:
NEXUS a closed facebook group for dentists, focused on interdisciplinary collaboration and comprehensive care. About 30,000 colleagues from all over the world and many implant discussions approached from a multi-disciplinary point.
Access NEXUS at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kendonexus/
Zerodonto Clinical Dentistry Contest
If you find something really good among your cases, why not go for the big podium and take part in the Zerodonto Clinical Dentistry Contest! Forget the “contest” part, the real value is in the participation, while the true winner is probably the patient who received the respective treatment. Preparing a case for such a submission is a learning experience in itself and you will rub shoulders with top clinicians and post-graduate students from the best schools around the world.
Access Zerodonto Contest at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/234615625009/
Step 3: PREPARE !
Finally, after learning and sharing and learning even more, take some time to prepare. The Pandemic will be over and soon we will be back to our normal working lives, so get a pole position for what comes next! Keep the end in mind, as professor Lang always repeated!
1. Start from the end!
How do you want your practice to be after a few months and in the coming couple of years? What do you want to be able to do, what care do you aspire to deliver in Implant Dentistry? What kind of cases do you want to be able to undertake? What procedures will this include?
2. Prepare your checklists!
Once you determine your destination, design your pathway! What are the pieces of the puzzle still missing? Which competences do you need to reach in the coming months? Which of your current skills will need to improve?
Who will support you in your pathway? An experienced mentor? A group of critical colleagues and friends? An institution or association? Is your team ready or you need to help them upgrade their skills, too? Break down all actions to small and verifiable “checkpoints”: skills and competences, knowledge and understanding, practice, equipment, environment, team.
3. Plot your course!
Finally, when you know where you are heading and all the stops of your journey, just plot your course! Remember to involve your team on every step and do not hesitate to share, expose your thoughts and question your ideas through the eyes of a critical friend.