Young and Gifted – Avik in “Implant Dentistry Today” September 2008
Avik Dandapat is the youngest dentist in the UK to gain the Dip Imp Dent RCS (Eng) – ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS – qualification at age 29.
Versha Miyanger finds out more.
VM: Can you tell me a bit about your background?
AD: My father is a medical doctor as was my grandfather so I broke the mould and became a dentist. I have one sister who has a PhD in Dermatology from Imperial College, London. I completed my A-levels in South Kensington, London and went on to read dentistry at Birmingham University. I qualified in 2001 and went on to pass my MFGDP(UK) in 2003. By 2007 I attained the Dip.Imp.Dent (RCS) qualification by examination at first sitting at the age of 29. After university I did my VT then an oral surgery job and went onto being an associate GDP followed by a Principal. I have been running my practice now for three years with my wife Nahid who is also a dentist.
VM: Are you completely restricted to implants, or do you practice other types of dentistry?
AD: 75% of all my work now is implant related. I look after only a handful of general patients whom have seen me over the last five years and do not accept new patients for general treatment.
VM: Do the implant patients come from referrals?
AD: Yes, but also from internal referrals and referrals from patients I have treated.
VM: How long have you been working in implant dentistry and what systems do you use?
AD: I have been working in this sector for six years and I use Ankylos implants from Dentsply Friadent predominately but also use Astra-tech
VM: Why did you decide to concentrate on implants?
AD: As I had a passion for oral surgery and liked a challenge I thought implantology suited my skill set and interests in surgery and dentistry. I believe for me it was the most fascinating area of dentistry that allowed one to think out of the box and fly out of my comfort zone. Also implants can really change a person’s quality of life which is very satisfying to have the ability to carry out such work.
VM: What training have you undertaken apart from your University education?
AD: The Membership of the FGDP(UK) examination (MFGDP(UK)) and the diploma in implant dentistry from the royal college of surgeons of England. Dip.Imp.Dent RCS (Eng).
VM: What is the most satisfying aspect of your work?
AD: Doing complex implant reconstructive surgery where the final result is achieved to a high aesthetic and functional standard.
VM: Professionally, what are you most proud of?
AD: Achieving the standards required to attain the Diploma in Implant Dentistry at first examination only six years post qualification by the age of 29.
VM: What about your practice do you think is unique?
AD: The practice as well as having installed the world’s leading technology has a fantastic working team that provides patients with exceptional service. We aim to make each patient journey unique and memorable by providing exceptional levels of comfort and customer service beyond convention. We are certainly not all about veneers!
VM: What has been your biggest challenge?
AD: The Diploma in Implantology, needless to say 20 cited essays, ten clinical cases presented and written up stage by stage to FGDP standards in implants, a practice inspection, and a one-hour viva about my cases – was enough to drive anyone around the bend!
VM: What do you think is the future of implant dentistry?
AD: Shortly there will be more regulation by the GDC for dentists practicing implant dentistry. Restriction of cases GDPs will be able to undertake without formal registered qualifications. Consideration of specialist lists in implantology but I think we are far from this at present.
VM: What are your top tips in maintaining a successful implant practice and what advice would you give to budding implant dentists?
AD: Well firstly do predictable work, be competitively priced, provide exceptional customer service, have an implant treatment co-ordinator who discusses treatment plans with your patients without you being there. It’s amazing how patients ask questions to a third party that they may hesitate asking you. Use multimedia presentations and invest in good technology and premises. Make sure you have your aseptic techniques as good as they can be. Audit and follow up your cases every year and use the data for research. For budding implant dentists, don’t consider weekend courses as your licence to practice implantology what the companies don’t teach you is what can go wrong and how to deal with the complications. Consider the correct training pathways and look at the GDC guidelines on training standards in implantology. Do things right from the start and do not take on cases you are unsure about at the beginning. Use an ADI mentor to start work and utilise their experience. The lists are being published at the end of the summer this is now a GDC requirement to practice implant dentistry in the UK.