ADIA programs on implants

Dental implants. Many hygienists work in practices that restore and/or place implants, but are you comfortable in your knowledge of them? Do you know how to discuss treatment options and maintenance of implants with patients? Did you know that offering implants for any edentulous area is the “standard of care?” If you answered no to any of these questions, then programs designed by Lynn Mortilla, RDH, and the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries are for you.

by Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, BS

Dental implants. Many hygienists work in practices that restore and/or place implants, but are you comfortable in your knowledge of them? Do you know how to discuss treatment options and maintenance of implants with patients? Did you know that offering implants for any edentulous area is the “standard of care?” If you answered no to any of these questions, then programs designed by Lynn Mortilla, RDH, and the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries are for you.

Lynn is the executive director and a certified educator of the ADIA, a component association of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists - the only professional implant association dedicated to the needs of the dental team, hygienists, assistants, and business staff. The ADIA offers high quality, cost effective continuing education programs for the dental team to stay abreast of the rapidly advancing science of implant dentistry. Hygienists who participate in ADIA programs receive the most up-to-date information regarding their role in implant dentistry. All of Lynn’s programs are implant related and include:

  • Dental Hygiene Implant Certification Program (DHICP)
  • Practice Management Implant Certification Program (PMICP)
  • Dental Assisting Implant Certification Program (DAICP)
  • Implant Coordinator Training Program
  • Advanced Dental Implant Concepts: Theories and Techniques

All of the programs focus on clinical content and are updated constantly to provide cutting edge implant education. New research in implant dentistry is also included. The programs work together to complete a circle of education for the entire dental team. This allows everyone to be on the same page when discussing implant patient care and clinical treatments. The programs are function specific, but all team members are encouraged to participate in all of the programs and step out of their “comfort zones” to learn what is happening in other areas of the practice regarding implant treatment. This way, if a patient asks a clinical question of the business staff, all team members will be able to answer with sound scientific knowledge, which will boost the practice’s credibility. In addition, a benefit of ADIA membership is the text “Glossary of Implant Dentistry,” which is a valuable resource to all team members.

The didactic portions of the programs are lectures using PowerPoint. Recently, participants began receiving a digital handbook on CD-Rom to accompany the programs so they will have tools for their practices from concepts and documentation reviewed in the courses. Concepts provided in the DHICP include:

  • Introduction - review of the rationale and history of dental implants
  • Classifications and definitions used in implant dentistry
  • Scientific basis for dental implant therapy
  • Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning in implantology
  • Implant surgical procedures
  • Prosthodontic considerations in implants
  • Maintenance and evaluation procedures
  • Role of interdisciplinary health-care providers

For those interested in practice management, assisting, or implant coordinator programs, some of the basic concepts presented in the DHICP are included, but some additional areas are:

  • Patient interactions
  • Medical and dental insurance reimbursement
  • Risk management and documentation
  • Practice marketing
  • Surgical templates and stents
  • Pharmacology and sedation
  • Adjunctive surgical procedures: sinus lifts, bone grafts, tissue regeneration, PRP
  • Customized informational packets
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Inter/intra-office communications
  • Laboratory communications

For those who have completed the basic certification programs, a new program called Advanced Implant Concepts provides information regarding:

  • Current bacterial research
  • Use of chemotherapeutics and implants
  • Evidence-based approaches
  • Literature review of implant success/failure rates
  • Smile evaluation and cosmetic considerations for esthetics

All of the programs are created by ADIA/ICOI and are presented by a group of extraordinary dental professionals, including Lynn, who have participated in all of the programs and are certified educators of ADIA. Participants who complete each program will become members of the ADIA for one year and be awarded membership as certified implant auxiliary. If a member maintains active membership for one year and accumulates continuing education credits in implant dentistry, the advanced certified implant auxiliary membership level is achieved. With further advancement within the implant field, the member can proceed to Fellowship status. All of the certified educators are Fellows within ADIA.

Lynn became interested in implant dentistry when her father had oral cancer and she watched him deal with an ill-fitting prosthesis that robbed him of his enthusiasm for life. Always the investigator, she wanted to find a solution to his problem. She wanted to learn all she could about oral cancer so that others would not have to endure what her family did. As a second-year dental hygiene student at SUNY Farmingdale, she heard a lecture on dental implants where the instructor discussed never using metal instruments on implants. She was intrigued with the idea of replacing teeth with implants and wanted to learn more. After graduation, she sought out continuing education regarding implants, which led her to an ICOI/ADIA meeting in San Francisco. Lynn met a group of visionary hygienists and dentists, one of whom became her future boss and mentor, Dr. Kenneth Judy. The rest, as they say, is history. She became involved in ADIA and her father experienced the impact implants can have on one’s life.

In addition to being executive director of ADIA, Lynn is an ADHA member concerned with the deterioration of quality education and the limitations of education due to geographic or monetary restraints. She enjoys meeting colleagues at various meetings and discussing the challenges faced within dentistry. Lynn loves meeting new people, but hates the often-present political climate. In her opinion, all of the turf wars related to the hierarchy within dentistry deteriorate the true goal - patient care.

Lynn is passionate about her son, Michael, her family, and her career. She believes that life is a balance of all the things around you. She tries to make choices in her life that make her happy, both personally and professionally. Many dental team members have inspired Lynn to become passionate about implant dentistry and developing the ADIA into an organization worth supporting.

For more information about ADIA and its programs, visit www.icoi.org or contact Lynn Mortilla at LDTRDH@aol.com.

Authors note: I have known Lynn and have been a certified educator and a Fellow of ADIA for more than 10 years. Lynn has developed ADIA into an organization to be proud of. Implant dentistry is the future here now. As hygienists, we need to educate ourselves, our practices and our patients about all that implant dentistry has to offer. I am honored to be a part of ADIA and to call Lynn a friend.

Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, BS, FAADH, is currently a faculty member at Mt. Ida College’s dental hygiene program after spending more than 25 years in private practice. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and is also pursuing a master’s degree in education in instructional design. Ann-Marie has written numerous articles and provides continuing education programs for dental hygienists and dental team members. She can be reached at amrdh@aol.com.

More in Home