Involving the entire team

Nov. 18, 2010
Staci L. VanLoo, EFDA, explains how critical it is to involve the entire team to make dental implant procedures a success.

By Staci L. VanLoo, EFDA

I have had the pleasure of working as the lead assistant and implant team coordinator in an outstanding practice for the past four years. Our doctor believes in highly educating his team no matter their status in the office. Not only does this education build enthusiasm within the team, but it also makes a great marketing tool.

How many times have you witnessed the doctor doing a fantastic job of selling a needed implant treatment to a patient? But once the doctor walks out of the operatory patting himself on the back, the patient turns to the assistant and asks, “So what do you really think about these implants?” It has always amazed me how much patients put their trust in the assistant to tell them that treatment is truly needed and worthwhile. If the assistant is confident and knowledgeable about the purposed treatment, then the patient is more likely to accept it.

In my opinion and through experience, no doctor should attempt implant surgery without an educated and knowledgeable staff. An assistant may not have a degree to place implants, but she can remind the doctor of specific steps in a procedure that he or she may have overlooked. One method in our office is a procedure checklist from start to finish. This helps the doctor and assistant ensure that nothing is forgotten. Since the doctor is concentrating on the surgery, it’s the assistants’ responsibility to follow the checklist. If the assistant has not been fully trained in implant surgery, there is too much room for mistakes and steps to be forgotten.

The ADIA has created the most amazing classes and hands-on sessions to teach not only surgical assistants about implants from A to Z, but the entire team as well. You can have a higher rate of acceptance with purposed implant procedures when you have a knowledgeable and educated team, so let the ADIA give you the steps needed to boost your implant practice.

Author bio
Staci VanLoo, EFDA, is an expanded functions dental assistant and dental implant team coordinator for Tidwell Dental. She is well versed in the implant arena, and willingly shares her experience with others. Staci is the director of an Implant Study Club, a group of dentists working together to learn more about the placement of dental implants. She is highly respected for her abilities in the field. Staci will receive fellowship with the ADIA in Las Vegas in February 2011.