Dental implant practice and education in the UK- current challenges and future challenges

Jayachandran, Sivakumar (2022). Dental implant practice and education in the UK- current challenges and future challenges. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Dental implants have become one of the important treatment options in restorative dentistry. However, their role in general dental practice in the UK is unclear. The objectives of this research were to explore the status of 1. dental implant practice in the primary care dental services and 2. dental implant education in the UK. A background search identified that the available research included only patient satisfaction surveys on receiving dental implant treatment or dentists’ opinion surveys after a training course. There was a gap in understanding the dentists’ views on dental implant practice and training. Therefore, the research was focused on getting the opinion of dentists. At the first stage, a questionnaire study was conducted among a representative group of general dental practitioners (GDPs) in the west midlands. The perception of the majority of the dentists who participated in the survey was that implant education was still inconsistent and did not instil confidence in the UK graduated general dentists in managing dental implant patients. However, the survey did not explore the dentists’ views further. Therefore, the research was continued using qualitative methodology. At this stage, another review was conducted, revealing that the number of qualitative research publications until 2020 was only minimal. Content analysis of the selected articles revealed that the majority of them explored patient views, not those of dentists.

In-depth interviews were conducted with 22 dentists of different experience levels. While adhering to the principle of information saturation to decide sample size, efforts to ensure inclusion of dentists from different geographic locations, different educational backgrounds, and different levels of experience. NVIVO software was used to code and organise data, and a framework analysis method was used. Analysis of the interview data identified different themes related to dentists’ confidence in managing dental implant patients, the need for guidance in relation to dental implant maintenance and recalls, the current status of the undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) curriculum. Some suggestions to improve dental implant education were also identified.

Further focus groups and qualitative surveys were conducted with dentists of different experience levels to understand their views about the outcomes of the interview analysis. The dentists confirmed the conclusions of the interview studies and provided additional themes related to possible solutions to the queries raised.

Overall, the research identified many thought-provoking themes related to the opportunities and challenges related to dental implant practice and its education and opened many avenues for further research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: School of Dentistry
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: R Medicine > RK Dentistry


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