Development and validation of metric-based training to proficiency for dental implant placement

Common dental diseases such as dental decay (caries) and gum (periodontal) disease can lead to the loss of teeth, which has detrimental effects on patients chewing ability, speech and smile. While retaining teeth for patients is a primary goal for the dental profession, the replacement of teeth when they are lost is an important role for the dental team and a variety of treatment options are available inculding conventional treatments for missing teeth such as dentures (removable plates), bridges (teeth fixed into the mouth using the adjacent teeth) and dental implants (metal screws/posts in the jaw bone to support the teeth).Dental implants play an increasingly important role in restoring function and psychological well- being for edentulous (no teeth) and partially dentate (some teeth) patients. They have a number of advantages over other treatment options:no preparation necessary to the remaining teeth on either side of the "gap" they are a fixed solution for missing teeth i.e. removal unnecessary at night ;the aesthetic result can be outstanding Unfortunately, dental implants are difficult to place in the mouth accurately and if placed incorrectly can cause significant problems including poor aesthetics, nerve damage, infections etc. It is essential that clinicians placing dental implants are trained to the highest standards of proficiency. Ideally, this involves metrics-based proficiency-based progression training, which is not currently standard practice.Existing research in the medical literature shows that simulation training with Performance-Based Progression (PBP) and the use of clear enhanced metrics can improve surgeon performance by up to 60%. Whilst basic simulation training has been used in extensively in other areas of dentistry, PBP has not. The over-arching aims of this project are to develop and validate these metrics to facilitate proficiency-based progression training, and to show that proficiency-based progression training leads to a superior clinical skill set.


Award Date
26 May 2016
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Elaine Kehily
Host Institution
University College Cork
Research Training Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals