Innovative Education to Grow General Dental Practices: The Synergy Academy

The Synergy Academy is providing implant education in a novel and convenient way. Instead of having general dentists travel to instructional conferences or courses, The Synergy Academy brings periodontist faculty into general dental practices for one-on-one training with the dentist’s own patients.

Education has always been one of the keys to achievement, productivity, and prosperity. Simply put, education is a major step on the path to success. This axiom is particularly true of dentistry. In order to expand their productivity and their practice, general dentists need to maintain and update their education – not simply for reasons of gaining continuing education credits but also to be able to provide the services their patients need and demand.

To gain a better understanding of this model and its benefits, we spoke with Steven Ury, DDS, Co-founder and Co-director of The Synergy Academy. Dr. Ury is a periodontist and serves as the Director of Academic Faculty at The Synergy Academy. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery as well as a certificate in Periodontology from the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University, received a certificate of implant dentistry at Harvard University, was in active practice for decades in New York, and is also the Co-founder of PreViser Corporation.

Which procedure is the focus of training from The Synergy Academy’s faculty instructors?

“Our primary objective is to teach fundamental implant surgery to general dentists in their offices, on their own patients, and with staff participation. The initial focus of training is the Level 1 Basic Dental Implant Surgery Course provided by expert periodontist faculty instructors. The cases that are selected for treatment are uncomplicated and provide predictable results for a practitioner new to dental implant placement.”

So the general dentist’s staff participates in the training as well?

“Yes, our experiential education includes the general dentist and their staff. We call this Synchronized Dental Learning, and it is provided by our faculty periodontist instructors and delivered over the course of a day.”

Since this training is done in-office at the general dental practice and on actual patients, it seems much more convenient and in-depth than traditional courses. What are your thoughts on this?

“When a general dentist attends a traditional course outside their geographic area, there are many drawbacks. The dentist is paying much higher tuition than they would with The Synergy Academy plus additional traveling expenses like lodging, transportation, and meal costs. They also lose production time while away from their office, and their staff is not included. Additionally, the education they receive is mostly didactic, and the clinicals are usually on models such as a pig’s jaw.”

“The Synergy Academy’s experiential education model sidesteps all of these issues. There are no travel-related expenses, the dentist learns from hands-on training, and they are prepared to treat patients the very next day.”

How does the training process work?

“When a general dentist signs up for our Level 1 course, they will initially gather a certain number of patients and implant locations for evaluation by a Synergy Academy Periodontist Consultant, such as myself, who confers with the dentist and helps to choose the ideal candidates and sites. This information is then relayed to a Synergy Academy Periodontist Faculty Instructor for further conferences with the dentist to plan for the day course with this periodontist.”

So the actual course lasts a single day?

“Yes, but we spend many hours in the lead up to that day of training. The periodontist consultant must evaluate the cases to be sure they are appropriate for Level 1 Basic dental implant surgical training. For this Level 1 training, we are looking for ideal sites where there is adequate bone, away from nerves and sinuses, and there are no dental or medical contraindications. Everything has to be aligned for this basic day course that trains general dentists to perform simple dental implant surgery.”

Why would a general dentist even be interested in becoming qualified to deliver simple dental implants?

“The trend in dentistry has moved to Refer-In rather than Refer-Out. This change is because both general dentists and specialists are feeling the crunch in terms of lack of new patients and diminishing production.”

Why should general dentists choose to keep some implant cases in-house?

“Really, a general dentist offering simple dental implants is on the same level with offering other uncomplicated procedures like simple endodontics or extractions. Not only does this model raise production, but it is also advantageous for the patient as the trend indicates that they prefer to receive treatments in the comfortable familiarity of their primary dental practice. General dentists would prefer to offer more procedures that they can easily handle in their office and only refer out the more advanced cases. Some dentists want to employ specialists in their offices for obvious economic benefits. Our sister company, Synergy Specialists, supports the general dentist in finding and connecting to the best specialist to work in their practice.”

Are there other advantages to taking the basic implant course?

“One primary reason that general dentists consider enrolling in the course is that it pays for itself. Because the dentist can charge the patient for the implant, the tuition is usually recovered by the fees generated from that treatment on the day of the surgery. And most times, the dentists actually make a profit. We termed that “Earn While You Learn.”