The important role of a dental implant coordinator
If you are considering dental implants and want to know more, a good first point of contact is a dental implant or treatment coordinator. They are well-trained professionals who are knowledgeable about implants and usually have relevant clinical experience. Coordinators understand the dental implant treatment process, so can help to answer your initial questions, before you meet the dentist. They ensure clear, consistent communication is maintained and that you are guided through your implant journey accurately informed, with confidence, peace of mind and the best possible care.
- Accessible advice
- Initial FREE consultation
- Full clinical consultation
- Treatment plan and cost estimate
- Happy dentist, happy patient
An implant coordinator is an invaluable contact at your implant practice, prior to, during and after implant treatment. They will get to know you and listen to your goals and concerns.
Dr Colin Neil, Dental Implant Surgeon, Confident Dental and Implant Clinic Stroud comments, “For many years, I have developed and worked with dedicated dental implant coordinators. I find the role to be hugely advantageous, first and most importantly for the dental implant patient and second for the smooth running of the clinic.”
Implant coordinators help to keep things running smoothly by acting as a liaison between you and the implant dentist. If you have been referred by another practice, the coordinator also maintains a channel of communication between you, your general dental practitioner and the dentist placing the implants.
If you have any queries at any point during your treatment, the implant coordinator is only a quick call away. Some patients feel unable to discuss everything with the dentist. This can be for several reasons. Your dentist may be unavailable, or you might be concerned about discussing cost, or worried that your question will be thought of as trivial. Coordinators are usually very accessible, and you will have the benefit of being able to contact them directly. In addition to the dentist, they will know the specifics of your case.
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, you may find it helpful to first attend an exploratory consultation. The discussion can be held with the implant treatment coordinator, usually in a non-clinical setting. Many implant practices offer a free, no obligation initial consultation for prospective patients. The meeting can help you consider all the options available to treat your dental problems, so that you can make an informed decision. It also gives you the chance to meet the team face-to-face and get to know the facilities before your treatment begins.
In order to give you the best advice, you will be asked for details about your medical history and lifestyle, and anything else that may affect the treatment. Your budget and time constraints will also be considered, and you may be shown results that have been achieved for other patients in a similar situation.
Dr Max Suleiman, Dental Implant Surgeon, Amersham Hill Dental Clinic explains, “Importantly, the coordinator will be able to listen to your needs and this will help in the discussion about what you would like to achieve at the end of the treatment.”
If you decide that you would like to progress with implants, the next step would be a full clinical consultation with the dental implant surgeon. This is a more detailed examination for which most dentists will charge a fee. Some clinics refund this cost when you proceed with dental implant treatment. Not all the dentists listed on click4teeth adopt this policy, so it is a good idea to check when you first meet the implant team.
The implant coordinator will fully brief the dentist about your requirements and background before the clinical consultation. During the appointment, the dentist will make a full assessment of your mouth and review your dental problems, social habits and medical history. X-rays and impressions of your mouth will be taken, in order to produce plaster study models to help establish the length, diameter and position of the implant(s). When planning for dental implants, imaging technology such as computed tomography (CT) or cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans, may also be used to provide precise information, so that your implant dentist can develop an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
When all the examinations and scans are complete, your dentist will provide a treatment plan, which is discussed with you at another appointment. The implant coordinator usually attends this meeting, so they continue to have a thorough understanding of your needs. The plan will also include time frames, cost and the consent forms. At this stage, you should take time to ask any questions you might have, so they can be addressed at the same time. Afterwards, the implant coordinator or another member of the implant team will arrange for you to sign the consent forms, discuss timescales and payment options. They will also be available to answer any further questions you may have.
When you are happy with all aspects of the proposal, further appointments can be scheduled to begin your treatment. Once your implant treatment is under way, coordinators monitor your progress and healing, and organise follow-up phone calls and appointments.
Every dental practice operates differently, and some may not offer the services of a dedicated implant or treatment coordinator. The responsibilities may be shared by other members of the team, such as the practice manager or an implant nurse.
Dr Dermot McNulty, Clinical Director, Bath Spa Dentistry adds, “Coordinators play a vital role closely supporting the implant dentist, when educating patients about the benefits of dental implants. They can explain what to expect and provide reassurance and guidance during treatment.”
Working together as a team, they can provide options for the best clinical outcome and patient care. A coordinator will also enable a dentist to spend more time treating the patient and less time dealing with administrative work.
Dr Colin Neil concludes, “My patients and I have had the great pleasure of working with some wonderful implant coordinators over the years. As a result, my clinic is committed to the continual refinement of this very important role, investing in training and constantly improving the process for our patients and referring dentists.”
If your dental implant practice has an implant coordinator, they will be on hand to provide informed, quality customer care and be happy to work with you to enhance your overall experience and achieve the smile you deserve.
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