“The necessity of working with a Mentor in order to gain valuable hands-on experience in implant procedures cannot be underestimated. It really does work and the benefits are enormous.”
BChD, MSc Dental Implantology
High Street Practice, Shepton Mallet
I decided to get involved with implants because I believe it to be an exciting treatment modality to offer to patients, replacing their missing teeth without compromising their existing teeth and significantly improving their day-to-day life experience.
I studied for my MSc in Dental Implantology for three years at the University of Bristol. This gave me an excellent academic grounding in implants, but despite having done some placements during the course, I felt I was lacking practical “hands-on” experience to start placing implants within my own practice. It can be a scary prospect being out there on your own waiting to treat your first implant patients. You can read all the textbooks you like, but once it comes to the real thing you really do need the help of a Mentor.
As part of my training I was lucky enough to visit The Dental Implant Clinic in Bath where I met Tim Harris. After raising my concerns surrounding my practical vs. theoretical skills with Tim I was delighted when he agreed to be my Mentor and help get my implant career off the ground.
The role of a Mentor is to provide encouragement, to help with treatment planning and give professional advice, and guide you through those daunting first cases and beyond. I couldn’t ask for a better Mentor than Tim. His teaching and communication skills are second-to-none, and he has a very unique approach to encourage you through procedures and help you through situations you may not have anticipated during surgery. Tim knows my weaknesses and my strengths, and exactly when to step in if he needs to. Alongside this he helps to put patients at ease and everyone within the practice has also gained so much from his knowledge and expertise.
I envisage working with Tim for some time to come. I am now happily carrying out Straightforward cases with some treatment planning and advice from him if necessary, but I am still working with Tim on more complex cases until I gain more confidence and experience.
The necessity of working with a Mentor in order to gain valuable hands-on experience in implant procedures cannot be underestimated. It really does work and the benefits are enormous and I would thoroughly recommend partnering with a Mentor to anybody taking their first steps into implant dentistry.