31st July 2016

The importance of peer-to-peer learning in dentistry

Learning from peers is just as important as learning from the experts when it comes to continuous professional development. As President of the British Society for Advanced Dentistry (BSAD) – an organisation that facilitates and actively encourages peer-to-peer learning in dentistry – Dr Nigel Jones knows first-hand the value of sharing knowledge and experiences with others in your field. Here is his comment on peer-to-peer learning in advanced dentistry.

A word from Dr Nigel Jones

“Teaching colleagues about dental implants allows me to meet up with my peers and keep my finger on the pulse of the latest techniques and developments in the world of dental implantology.

One such trip took me to Professor Tiziano Testori’s Lake Como Institute in Italy for the FGDP Diploma conference on sinus lifting. The real benefit of such events is that I get to chat to my colleagues and peers. I often learn more chatting than I do from the actual lectures. Comparing my work with theirs helps me improve my standards and discover new techniques to make my work more predictable.

Exposing our failures and successes to one another can ultimately help to drive up standards. There are some colleagues who work more in the academic world and the things they do are at the cutting edge, but we don’t yet know how long their work will last. Whereas colleagues working in general practice for paying patients, auditing their own work (which they do well in Italy), allow us to see long-term results of work that’s tried and tested. An example of that would be Patrick Palacci working in Marseilles (France) who placed and restored dental implants at the outset with Professor Branemark and is still doing predictable work as he did it in the early 90s.

I’m very privileged that these people accept me as a colleague and a peer, and I love spending time with them and exposing my work to their critical eye.”

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