Although dental implants have a high success rate, they are not 100% perfect, especially when placed by less-experienced dentists. In an attempt to standardize dental implant procedures and reduce the risk of error among all dentists, especially trainee or newly licensed dentists placing implants, researchers brought together an expert panel of 24 periodontists to establish what is likely the first-ever expert panel recommendations for dental implant safety.
The new dental implant recommendations were created using what is known as the Delphi technique, which is a way to create consensus among mid-sized teams of experts (15-30 individuals). Once appropriate experts are selected, they are given multiple rounds of anonymous questionnaires to attempt to identify the ideas they agreed on.
In this questionnaire, the initial step was to survey each panelist about their personal practices in placing dental implants. All the descriptions panelists gave were compiled into a list of steps. Panelists were asked for input on the best wording and sequence of steps. Then the list of steps were given to panelists, who were supposed to identify which ones they agreed with. Any step with less than 90% consensus was dropped, after a brief survey to make sure that no steps anyone considered essential were being neglected.
Finally, the completed list was sent for any additional feedback.
The result was a 20-item checklist for safety in dental implant procedures.
Any expert opinion is only as good as the experts that create it. In this case, all experts were selected from the American Board of Periodontology database. The dentists considered all had at least five years experience placing dental implants and had placed at least 1,000 implants. On the final panel, individuals had placed an average of 4200 dental implants.
Checklists have proven highly effective in improving the safety of many medical procedures. It may seem simplistic, but a basic checklist can ensure that crucial steps are not forgotten or ignored.
However, the most important thing you can do to ensure the safety of your dental implant procedure is to work with a periodontist or an implant dentist who works with a periodontist for the placement of dental implants. Periodontists have special training and skills that allow them to place dental implants more safely.
If you want to learn more about the difference a periodontist can make in your dental implant procedure, please contact Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD in Beverly Hills today.