Dentaltown August 2020 - 36

Never begin a surgery unless
you are prepared to take it to
completion, without anyone else
having to get you out of trouble.

Check out
Dr. Reznick's
latest CE
courses online!
Whether you want to
master third molars, ridge
preservation, flaps or other
oral surgery techniques
(or all of the above), we've
got you covered. Head to
dentaltown.com/ce and search
"Reznick" to find multiple CE
opportunities from this author.

36

And that is a major problem we have in dentistry today-the "dumbing down"
of implantology education to bring it to the masses. After all, dental implant surgery
is surgery. And performing surgery in the face and jaws is much different from performing a
restorative procedure on a tooth. Performing a surgical procedure on a patient is a privilege
that needs to be regarded with tremendous respect.
Surgical specialist training is much different from a weekend course or a "mini-residency."
One of the first things we are taught is that we do not attempt a surgical procedure until
we completely understand the anatomy and physiology involved, the treatment options,
the potential complications of the procedure and how to avoid those complications, as well
as what to do if they should occur.
You never begin a surgery unless you are prepared to take it to completion, without
anyone else having to get you out of trouble.
You also know how to manage postoperative care and complications. The progression
of the complexity of surgical procedures is slowly and deliberately advanced: First year is
filled with hundreds of "simple" surgeries and experience observing and holding retractors
in the operating room. It is not until the senior years, after thousands of hours of training,
that surgical residents are allowed to start doing more complicated procedures.
I see more and more courses these days aimed at general dentists, who may have had
minimal surgical training in dental school. These courses promise dentists that they'll be
doing fully edentulous cases, bone grafting and other procedures after the equivalent of
one week or less of surgical residency.
Doctors are led to believe that after placing a few implants in a patient they'll never
see again, they're qualified to do advanced cases in their own practices. They're told
that they can do anything that specialists can do. This is just not realistic, successful
or safe for our patients. Dentists who want to learn to place implants must not look to
fast-track their surgical training, but approach it in the same way specialists get their
advanced education.
First, it is critical to learn from educators who are truly experienced and credentialed
in the topics and procedures they're teaching. The best teachers I had in surgical residency
were not fellow residents a year or two ahead of me; they were the experienced attending
surgeons who not only had completed training but also had many years of managing a
wide range of patients and cases and had learned what to do and what not to do. Working
with them, although much more intimidating than working with my peers, is what made
me become a more confident and competent clinician.

AUGUST 2020 // dentaltown.com

DT0820_Reznick_Implants_MM.indd 36

7/20/20 2:21 PM


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Dentaltown August 2020

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Dentaltown August 2020 - 1
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