How 42 North Dental is setting the standard for quality dental care

Waltham, Mass.-based 42 North Dental announced it will launch a dental implant fellowship academy this summer. 

The implant academy features a digital learning component, an in-person class and a live surgical class. During the surgical class, cohorts' dental assistants will also be able to learn alongside them to enhance chairside partnerships. 

Michael Scialabba, DDS, the DSO's chief clinical officer, recently spoke with Becker's about the fellowship academy and the benefits of offering continuing education opportunities for employees.

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: How did the idea for the fellowship academy come about? 

Dr. Michael Scialabba: Historically, we provided continuing education to our doctors in a traditional dinner and CE course-type event netting one to two hours of CE at a time. Over the years, it has provided a great social atmosphere and built culture, but in surveying our doctors, we saw there was a thirst for more robust CE to develop their skill sets. Dental school graduates today are not getting the same experience past graduates received. There are a multitude of reasons, most recently COVID-19, but also the rise of specialty programs. This has created a situation where recent grads are seeking more post-graduate enhanced education. We're able to leverage our longstanding relationships with our partners and preferred vendors to create learning tracts like the fellowship program. It gives a 360-degree view to treatment and helps develop skills to continually improve clinical outcomes and better serve patients. Last year we did two cohorts of clear aligner therapy with Invisalign. This year we are doing the same with Keystone Dental Group, our preferred manufacturer of dental implants.   

Q: How much demand was there for this academy? How many participants are planned for this summer's session? 

MS: We had tremendous demand from our dentists. They're eager to learn and expand the practice of dentistry. We filled 10 slots for the upcoming fellowship academy and will run a second cohort in the late fall/early winter of this year to meet more of the demand.  

Q: Many DSOs have recently expanded their educational offerings for employees and affiliated dentists. Why is this? 

MS: In building CE for providers, groups can tailor their message and vision of dentistry. We have a clinical culture of quality, safety and efficiency and our CE events reflect that. We're able to tailor content to maximize techniques and technologies to spotlight each of those areas and truly set the benchmark for quality care in dentistry. 

Q: What are the benefits of dental assistants training alongside dentists?     

MS: Dental assistants are the backbone of any dental practice. Doctors can't perform dentistry without them. Having the dental assistant be part of the program highlights the importance of their contributions and helps in their career development, encouraging the entire team to stay on top of their skill set.  

Q: Is 42 North Dental considering launching other fellowship academies focused on other skills? 

MS: We absolutely are looking to expand 42U, our learning and development platform, with other education tracks. Looking forward, we're developing treatment planning tracks, endodontic and additional orthodontic fellowship programs, and softer skills like people management and conflict resolution. Our ultimate goal is to help develop the skills and our doctors to continue to help them be successful in all areas of their careers. 

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