While dental hygienists and therapists might not place the implants, they are instrumental in encouraging long-term success of treatment. By understanding the procedure, products and materials involved, they can help implant patients both pre- and post-treatment – optimising oral health before and helping to maintain patients’ oral health after for reduced postoperative complications and effective healing.
There is, however, a great deal of research investigating the pros and cons of different maintenance approaches.
With regards to exactly what should and should not be done, many of the studies are contradictive, others inconclusive and some, it could be argued, are a complete waste of time.
This will be one of the many relevant issues addressed during the ADI Team Congress 2017 in March, in which the ADI is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
A team programme has been designed specifically for dental hygienists and therapists, tailoring the day’s interactive and engaging lectures to help update and broaden their implant knowledge and enhance day-to-day practice.
Karen Walker, organiser of the team programme and DCP representative on the ADI Committee, comments: ‘For dental hygienists and therapists, the aim of the congress is to help you better understand the complexities of implant treatment and highlight that some research may be flawed.
‘By implementing a standardised approach with protocols that have been properly tried and tested, you will deliver a higher quality of care and ultimately, protect your patients.
‘The ADI Team Congress is unique in that it’s the only event of this calibre that is team-orientated – there’s simply nothing else like it.
‘Hygienists and therapists can pay to undergo training in the maintenance of implants, but then they only receive one perspective. The educational programme at the ADI Team Congress is designed to address the team as a whole, providing more information and enhancing general understanding of the entire process. Not only can this help to make the professional’s role more fulfilling, but it also has a huge impact on the quality of patient care delivered. As a registered charity, this is key for the ADI, which constantly strives to educate and enhance dental care for the general public.’
Nik Pandya’s session during the Friday lecture programme will help delegates assess scientific papers for credibility and relevance.
Julia Wilson will then discuss ‘Implementing protocols for our implant patients’. Julia offers more than 20 years’ experience of working with patients at all stages of implant treatment. She says: ‘For some time, the dental hygienist has felt that they have a seemingly peripheral role in the world of dental implants; it is my belief that, as a hygienist, our role is of paramount importance in the maintenance of these patients.
‘I feel passionately that in a world where implants are becoming more commonplace, we need to be brought in from the cold.
‘Having attended previous ADI congresses, I can promise you the ADI Team Congress 2017 will be a pleasurable, memorable event and a wonderful opportunity for all members.’
In the afternoon, leading industry representatives will give a thought-provoking glimpse into the future of dental innovation. Attendees will be able to engage with experts developing the products, materials and technologies of tomorrow, learning about the exciting new benefits to become available to DCPs, their practices and their patients.
The final session of the day will see dental hygienists and therapists joined by nurses and practice managers for a truly all-inclusive lecture by David Holmes.
Outlining the basic features of implant surfaces and possible associations with peri-implant disease, David will discuss best practice for dental hygienists and therapists and routine maintenance protocols.
‘Long-term maintenance of dental implants is an ongoing problem for all hygienists,’ says David. ‘We understand very well how to maintain teeth with regular hygiene and we have the instruments and tools to easily clean and debride teeth. But implants are not so simple.
‘They have been a wonderful solution for tooth replacement, however, there is, justifiably, growing concern over peri-implantitis and debate over the best way to prevent and treat peri-implantitis. This lecture will shed light on this difficult topic and give delegates the knowledge they need to help their patients.’
In addition to the dedicated programme on Friday, team programme delegates are invited to attend the plenary programme lectures on Thursday and Saturday, which will make attending the congress a fantastic educational opportunity.
For more information, visit www.adi.org.uk/congress17.