- Implant dentistry in postgraduate university education: present conditions, potential, limitations and future trends
- European Journal of Dental Education
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | Suppl 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
In recent years, opportunities for postgraduate university education in implant dentistry have increased significantly, with an increase in both the number but also the complexity of available postgraduate programmes. However, there appears to be a lack of standards directing the learning outcomes of such programmes.
A scientific literature search was conducted for publications reporting on university programmes within implant dentistry, including description of programmes and evaluation of learning outcomes. A separate Internet search was conducted to collect information on existing university programmes as presented on university websites.
Implant dentistry has reached a critical mass of an independent, multidisciplinary and vibrant domain of science, which combines knowledge and discovery from many clinical and basic sciences. Many university programmes conclude with a master's or equivalent degree, but there appears to be a great diversity with regard to duration and learning objectives, as well as targeted skills and competences. The importance of implant dentistry has also increased within established specialist training programmes. There was little indication, however, that the comprehensive aspects of implant dentistry are present in all specialist training programmes where implants are being covered.
Although universities should maintain the options of designing academic programmes as they best see fit, it is imperative for them to introduce some form of transparent and comparable criteria, which will allow the profession and the public to relate the degree and academic credentials to the actual skills and competences of the degree holder. With regard to established specialist training programmes, the interdisciplinary and comprehensive nature of implant dentistry needs to be emphasised, covering both surgical and restorative aspects. Finally, implant dentistry is not, at present, a dental specialty. The profession has not reached a consensus as to whether the introduction of a new recognised specialist field is either necessary or desired.
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