Advances in implant dentistry have created numerous opportunities to improve and totally restore patients to full masticatory health, comfort, function and esthetics. Implant placements have experienced an average annual growth of over 30 percent per year this decade. With over 125,000,000 dental implant opportunities in the U.S. alone and with fees ranging from $500 to $1,500 or more per implant, the profit potential is enormous.
However, diagnosing and treatment-planning an implant patient is more comprehensive than many other dental procedures. Complicating factors include age, patient expectations, physical health, the condition of the supporting bone structure, type of implant desired and costs. Successful implant restorations, therefore, require a thorough evaluation of the patient`s pretreatment condition and the clinical expertise to direct the appropriate treatment sequence.
The foundation for a successful implant practice begins with knowledge and preparation. One resource is the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID).
Founded in 1951, the AAID is the oldest professional organization in the world devoted to the advancement of implant dentistry. Based in Chicago, Ill., the Academy has over 2,000 members. Although it`s a national society, membership includes dentists from over 40 other countries. "Membership includes general dentists, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, peridontists and endodontists, all with a common aim: excellence in implant dentistry," says Dr. Terry Reynolds, president of the Academy.
Dr. Reynolds points out that one thing separating the AAID from many other implant associations is its support of all proven implant modalities. "Comparisons of patient cases show that no single manufacturer`s implant system is best applied to all patient conditions or desires," he says.
Dr. Reynolds also points out that the AAID is the only implant association that maintains a rigorous, peer-reviewed credentialing process. "AAID credentials are a testament to proficiency in implant dentistry and are recognized by a majority of state dental boards."
Dr. Art Molzan, vice president, explains that the AAID is an ADA CERP Recognized Sponsor of continuing education. Dr. Molzan says that the AAID`s educational programs are refined each year and are tailored to fit varied levels of experience. "These programs range from topic seminars for those just starting to the 300-hour AAID MaxiCourse in Implant Dentistry."
Dr. Molzan adds that the Academy provides members with numerous opportunities to grow professionally and to network with experienced implant dentists. "Through these and other support initiatives, the Academy helps its members achieve clinical and professional excellence."
Dr. Molzan says the best way to get started is to "get interactive with the AAID!" He is referring to the title of the AAID`s new multimedia CD-ROM disc. Dr. Molzan says the disc is the most comprehensive, if not the most interesting, source of information about the AAID, implant dentistry and implant suppliers available.
The disc is designed to acquaint dentists with virtually everything about the Academy, including its mission, benefits of membership, its history, its bylaws, its organizational/management/committee structure, its information and educational programs and its credentialing programs. The disc is fun to explore because many interesting ensembles of information are waiting to be discovered.
The "AAID History" section includes a reproduction of the 1949 article originally published in Dental Digest entitled, "The Implant Lower Denture." It was this article which brought dentists together from around the world to advance the art and science of implant dentistry. The section also includes video interviews with early investigators and charter members such as Drs. Norman Goldberg and Arthur Jermyn. Later, users will discover the first textbook on implants, which they can click open and review. In the "Introduction to Implants" section, users will discover a thousand years of implant history. The "Future Meeting" Sites section contains interactive tours of San Diego, Orlando and Nashville. The "Sponsor" section contains interactive product demonstrations. The Journal of Oral Implantology section contains sample copies, including the first issue published in 1954.
Dr. Molzan says that the disc has something for everyone and can be used in a variety of ways. In addition to providing new members with a complete orientation to the AAID, it can be used for patient education, staff-training and reference. Non-members are encouraged to use the worldwide listing of credentialed members to get to know AAID members in their areas.
For more information, visit the AAID`s website at www.aaid-implant.org. Handsomely packaged, the price of the disc is $99.95 plus tax, where applicable, and a $15 shipping and handling fee. Better yet, new members who join the Academy within 90 days of the date of purchase will receive a $99.95 credit on their first-year membership dues. The disc may be ordered by calling the AAID`s fulfillment service at (800) 370-7911.