Dr Malaak Al Rawi

Wimbledon-based practice owner Dr Malaak Al Rawi recently completed the VSSAcademy Certificate in Implant Dentistry course. Here she sets out why she thinks it offers more for less, in terms of vital knowledge and experience.

Taking the leap into the challenging field of dental implants requires practitioners to build up the courage to dare to move out of their comfort zone into dental pastures new.

The Certificate in Implant Dentistry course I completed in January definitely took me much further in this direction than I had expected in several ways. I’ve got lots of experience in the subject now and in terms of my confidence, I’m pleased to say that it is slowly building up all the time.

For example, I’m now finding it a very different prospect when patients ask me for information about a treatment they think they need. Now I can easily diagnose which cases are suitable, and even when they are not suitable at all, I can confidently tell them so. Building your experience and confidence for that first stage of diagnosis is really important if you are going to be successful in moving ahead in implant dentistry.

Another hugely significant part of the course is the mentoring you have access to. This is really beneficial in giving you enough confidence to be able to put whatever techniques you learned through the course into practice. It’s so reassuring to know that the VSSAcademy will provide me with the mentoring I am sure to need for more challenging cases in the future. When this happens, I will just have to knock on their door and ask for help and I know they will be there for me.

High quality, value-for-money teaching

I was introduced to Dr Fadi Barrak’s course through colleagues who had done the course before and I looked at the reviews. I researched other courses too, but I thought I needed something that gives me more experience in terms of placing and understanding soft tissue, bone and implants.

The cost of the course is definitely reasonable for a year of training if you compare it with other courses. I’ve actually seen many courses on subjects such as periodontal treatment, that have much less to offer the delegates in terms of theory and practical experience, for a much higher cost, which is very important to recognise.

For me the VSSAcademy course definitely delivers strongly in terms of value for money. Anyone thinking about doing similar educational courses always has to consider how many days of working they will lose and the potential loss of income involved. So, for me, another great element of the course was that course sessions were on Saturdays meaning it did not interfere with my working week and subsequently there were no loss of earnings involved.

Course structure

Each module of the course has a practical and a theory element and the way the course was taught was very useful and beneficial to my knowledge. Actually, I found that the information given throughout the course was even better than I was hoping for.

Going back to basics and building up again gives you the confidence that you haven’t missed anything and there are no knowledge gaps that might have an effect later on. We all study dentistry when we are younger and, unfortunately, we might pay less attention to some subjects and information or forget small but significant details – having the fundamentals of dentistry revisited as part of the course was extremely beneficial.

A career first

Training on cadavers was the highlight of the whole course for me and I was so thrilled when I left the academy at the end of that day. I had never before had the opportunity to gain that kind of hands-on experience, so it was truly worthwhile. This was another thing that raises confidence as you get to work on the closest thing to a real patient for a whole day.

If you have some experience placing implants but you want to practice restoring or placing in more depth, you can do just those few days as a standalone course too and it’s really useful. I was extremely happy with the amount of valuable experience that I took away with me.

Try it yourself

Implants are now a popular treatment, with lots of patients asking about them, so it has been very good for me to provide this facility to my patients in my practice and I’ve had lots of enquiries about it.

Doing implant certification courses through VSSAcademy gives you a bit of a short-cut and at the same time gives you as taste of  the experience of undertaking a Masters, or diploma course. But it also actually prepares you for the Masters degree if that is how far you want to take it, the course is approved as part of the required education pathway for direct entry into the 3rd year of UCLan’s MSc in Dental Implantology.

 I would definitely recommend the VSSAcademy Certificate in Implant Dentistry course to anyone interested in getting ahead in dental implants. I’ve talked to several of the people who did the course alongside me and they were all really happy with it also.

And I’d like to thank all the VSSAcademy team, from Alan to Fadi to Nicola to everyone else. It was brilliant to listen to them and brilliant to be involved in the course. There were a lot of tutors who were teaching different subjects, so we knew exactly who to turn to ask questions. I would really like to thank them all for helping me to gain the all-important confidence that has made all the difference in enabling me to keep moving forward in this new field.

For more information about the VSSAcademy’s Certificate in Implant Dentistry course and other courses, visit https://vssacademy.co.uk/ or email courses@vssacademy.co.uk.

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