“In my first year all cases were first and second premolar implant placements, but through the guidance of a mentor I have been able to develop my skills and undertake the placement and restoration of implants in all sites, as well as sinus and bone grafts.”

Milisha Chotai

DDS, MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Although at first it may feel like that you’re blindingly trusting someone you don’t know to help further your career, a mentor that has been through similar experience can add significant value by seeing things that you may not have.

I worked closely with my Mentor Jonathon Schofield throughout the different phases of treatment. When a patient presented as a suitable candidate, I’d send an email to him with my initial assessment and we would work through the treatment plan together. Right from the initial planning stages to placing the implant we would be in regular communication. Be it by email, telephone, Skype or in person, I had complete faith that Jonathon would be able to listen to my needs and answer my questions in a timely manner throughout treatment.

I quickly learnt that the role of a mentor is not to ‘tell’ mentees what to do and to lecture, but instead to come into your working environment and offer advice to help you think through challenges and develop your own solutions. This was an extremely effective technique, as it did not undermine my skills and competencies as an implant clinician.

Working with a mentor has helped propel my career from Straightforward to Advanced and onto more Complex cases (SAC). In my first year all cases were first and second premolar implant placements, but through the guidance of a mentor I have been able to develop my skills and undertake the placement and restoration of implants in all sites, as well as sinus and bone grafts.

When I compare my level of clinical care now to when I first started out in implants I can see a huge difference in not only my clinical capabilities but my restorative skills too. I’ve excelled from placing on average one Straightforward implant case per month to having 30 cases scheduled for the year so far (March 2016).

When you combine the theory from the MSc with the support of mentoring, progression with implants can be a quick and more effective process. I did not expect to be where I am today and if success with implants is the end goal – then mentoring should be considered an extension of any education programme.