Foundation in Implant Dentistry

After Birmingham-based clinician Dr Adam Ross Higgins completed the FID course he went on to place over 100 implants in his first year. Now he hopes to step up into the ‘sizable boots’ of his mentor who had challenged him to place 24 in that time.

What I have been able to achieve in my career since I finished the FID (Foundation in Implant Dentistry) course has really been unbelievable to me. My mentor Dr Philip Tangri stated he would be impressed if I could place 24 implants in the year and, in fact, in the summer last year he joked about increasing his hours to prevent me overtaking him on the number of implants I was placing! In the end I placed more than 100 last year alone which was remarkable.

Last month I placed over 25 implants and I’m optimistic that I can keep on achieving my goals at this pace with my current target to place over 100 implants again this year. All in all, it has been an absolutely incredible implant journey so far.

A theoretical and practical course

What attracted me to the FID implant course is its focus on Straumann implants, one of the best implant systems in the world. The motivation for taking the course was also largely because it provides a 12-month long option. In my opinion it’s important to choose a course which is not just on a weekend, but one that is spread over a year. I sought something that would cover the theoretical and practical aspects and give me the confidence and skills to work alongside my mentor in terms of placing and restoring implants.

Many of my colleagues in dentistry have inquired about my experience of the FID course and the one thing that I’d advise – for someone considering starting out on their implant journey, or someone who has only placed a small number of implants – is that it is vital that the course has the right amount of theoretical and also practical aspects, with a good mentorship scheme.

Before I embarked on the Foundation in Implant Dentistry course I hadn’t placed any implants and I wanted to develop the necessary skills and confidence to do so. The course allowed me to do just this and taking it has been one of my best decisions!

Recommended by colleagues

Soon after starting at my practice, my colleagues began advising me to seriously consider taking the course myself – six of them had previously completed the course and highly recommended it.

I was impressed that the course has a good mix of theoretical and practical aspects, employing the gold standards of both evidence-based and practical teaching which is an important implant learning experience. Some courses available are too theory based or too practical based, but with the best ones the theory and the practical work together. The FID course appealed because it is held during the week and is in London, so the commute was easy for me. In my opinion it is good value for money. We had over 10 different lecturers, some of them internationally renowned, and the icing on the cake was when I learned Shakeel Shahdad was one of them, whom I’d heard great things about. A highlight was when the group took part in a practical session using pigs heads which was a very hands-on approach and greatly helped to improve our surgical skills.

A great mentor is for life

My good friend and lifelong mentor Dr Philip Tangri has now retired from treating patients at the practice and I would love to be able to step into his boots, but I know they are very big boots to fill. Phil has been placing implants for over 27 years now, he’s placed tens of thousands of implants and treated a lot of patients with implants throughout Birmingham and also mentored other young dentists. A mentor is for life, not just a couple of months. Phil and I are good friends in and outside of work and that’s why I’ve been so successful with my implant journey so far.

After graduating from the FID course I now see an exciting future for myself and also for the practice and the team so hopefully I can keep on moving in the right direction and keep many patients in Birmingham and the surrounding area very happy.

Dr Adam Ross Higgins

Dr Adam Ross Higgins

Dr Adam Ross Higgins is implant dentist and general dentist of Scot Arms Dental Practice. He qualified from the prestigious Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Dental Institute in London and was awarded the British Society of Prosthodontic Elective Prize for his audit on dental implants to replace missing teeth. Adam also won the national British Medical and Dental Student’s Trust award for his implant project and became the first person ever to receive the Alumini of King’s College London Award. He previously gained an Honours degree in Biomedical Science with Enterprise from the University of Sheffield.

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