As part of her commitment to continuing education, Kelly Richardson, DDS has recently completed a year-long implant fellowship with the NYU School of Dentistry and online dental education site Dental XP. “I don’t want patients to be scared when they hear the word implants,” she says. “Implant placement is certainly a process, but if you have missing teeth, it’s the best way to replace your teeth for proper function and good quality of oral health afterwards.”
What did your training involve?
It was a year-long implant fellowship. I completed 141 continuing education hours online and attended an annual meeting where there were speakers lecturing on various aspects of dental implants. I had been placing implants before this program, but I wanted to increase my knowledge. The program provided a very broad, thorough coverage of implants.
How were you able to practice what you learned?
Since I had already done hands-on implant training, I practiced it in the office. Some of what the course covered were things we were already doing at Winchester Dental, and that helped to broaden my understanding.
How does what you learned enhance what you’re already practicing with implants at Winchester Dental?
I’m a lot more conscious of the soft tissue management aspect of implants now. This helps me identify things earlier that could become problems later on. For example, if proper connective tissue isn’t present around implants, there could be a problem in the future. Now it’s easier for me to spot those things, as well as different types of bone augmentation techniques that we can perform in our office, vs. others that we would refer to a specialist.
Which patients will benefit most from your training?
I can help anyone who is missing teeth and wishes to replace them, whether it’s one tooth or more than one. During the year-long training, we covered all kinds of scenarios, including different treatment options. I feel confident in helping patients choose the best possible replacement for their teeth so they can enjoy improved aesthetics and function.
What kinds of new benefits are you able to offer implant patients?
I now have a wider range of options to present, and I’m confident in those options—many more than just bridges and partials. There’s more we can do for patients who have lost bone, as well as options we can provide for those whom we refer to specialists.
Dr. Leskiv has also done training with this group, so I’m in good company!
What do you advise patients with tooth loss who are hesitant about choosing implants?
I don’t want patients to be scared when they hear the word implants. It’s worth doing research and pursuing. If you don’t know about your options or how choosing implants could help you, it could hold you back from optimal function, overall health, and the simple ability to smile. We have information and can answer questions. Overall, implants are a great option for replacing your teeth.