By Michele Guiberson, EFDA
I'm sure we can all relate to the following experience. This is my story of the path our office took to integrate implants into our general dental practice.
Imagine, if you will, working in a productive, small-town, general dental practice. At the end of every day you leave the office feeling good that you helped so many people.
Then one day the dentist announces he will be attending a residency course to learn about dental implants, surgical placement of implants, and proper technique for treatment planning and restoring implants. You want to share in his enthusiasm for implementing a new and revolutionary procedure to the practice, but dental implants seem like uncharted territory for Small Town, USA. You think, “Here's one more piece of dental equipment that will sit on a shelf, unused, reminding us of the day we thought it would be so innovative for our practice.”
Each day the doctor returns from the mini-residency course and shares what he’s learned with newfound excitement. It’s exciting to hear about, but you can't quite share in his excitement until you join him at the course. You sit through lectures, and then tour the plant where the dental implants are manufactured. The seed of excitement has been watered, but the deal is sealed on the day you're invited to observe a live surgery.
You assist the surgical assistant firsthand with setup and prep, then take mental notes of every movement during surgery, and finally, listen carefully to postop with the patient. The enthusiasm to put into practice what you’ve just learned is there, but one thing is missing: “Where is the support?” Yes, the surgical assistant said you could contact her with questions, but she's one person in a busy practice, and the answers may not fit your questions. What questions do you ask to get the answers you need? It’s all so confusing.
The next logical step is to attend every dental implant course. They all have valuable information, but the auxiliary staff can look in a lot of wrong places before finding the prize. The support, the answers, the college for dental implant auxiliaries is the ADIA. The ADIA is what makes it possible to bring dental implants to Small Town, USA. Attempting to integrate implants into a dental practice will falter without the support of the team. The team will become discouraged without the support of colleagues. The ADIA brings this all together.
Since introducing dental implants into our practice, placing our first dental implant, and being introduced to the ADIA, we have started a dental implant study club. The big black clouds of doubt are gone, the butterflies of fear have left, we have a well-trained and enthusiastic staff, and I say all this is due in large part to a fantastic and supportive organization — the ADIA.
Michele Guiberson, EFDA, is an expanded functions dental assistant, dental implant placement surgical assistant, and clinical manager for Tidwell Dental. Michele has been a dental assistant for more than 18 years. In that time, she has become highly proficient and a valuable member of her practice. Her abilities in cosmetic and surgical dentistry are exemplary. Michele will receive fellowship with the ADIA in Las Vegas in February 2011.
By Michele Guiberson, EFDA