Introduction: To promote consensus on implant dentistry university education in Europe, a workshop amongst university teachers and opinion leaders was organised in 2008. As a result, guidelines on both under- and postgraduate education were issued. This study aims to investigate the current status of university teaching of implant dentistry and the impact of the recommendations for teaching and assessment, 5 years after the first consensus. Finally, this report attempts to identify future directions in education within the discipline.
Materials and methods: An online survey was distributed amongst 105 academic leaders in implant education in Europe, and 52 questionnaires were returned (response rate 50%).
Results: The average amount of implant dentistry in undergraduate curricula has increased to 74 h, compared to 36 h in 2008, and the inclusion of pre-clinical and clinical education has increased. No change occurred with regard to the aimed competence levels. It was suggested that certain implant procedures including surgery should be provided by dentists after attending additional courses, whilst complex treatments will still require specialist training. The 2008 workshop guidelines have been implemented to a varying extent (25-100%) in under- and postgraduate education. Main reported implementation barriers included limited time availability in the curriculum and limited financial/material resources. Future discussions about implant dentistry in Europe should be focused towards integration in current dental curricula, approaches to overcome barriers and the relations with and role of industrial partners.
Conclusion: Implant dentistry is increasingly integrating in undergraduate dental education. Development of the consensus guidelines in 2008 may have facilitated this process. Nevertheless, further progress is needed on all educational levels to align training of professionals to the growing treatment needs of the population.
Keywords: dental curriculum; implant dentistry; postgraduate education; undergraduate education.
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