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Congratulations to Dr Cecilia So, and the project team, for receiving an International Team for Implantology grant

We recently interviewed eviDent Associate Investigator, Dr Cecilia So, about her involvement with an eviDent supported study entitled ‘Implant complications in private practice – a prospective study’. This study aims to establish widely accepted protocols that minimise risks of dental implant treatment, with a patient centred approach that can be applied through shared decision making in treatment planning decisions and in the treatment consent process.

As an early career researcher, what does the eviDent Foundation mean for your work?

As a dentist in private practice, eviDent has bridged the gap between my clinical practice and active involvement in academic research. With eviDent’s support, my research idea has developed into a research protocol, and the next stage for my work is to draw on the support of dentists to volunteer in my study. With the help of the eviDent Foundation, I can overcome one of the biggest hurdles in research, which are finding participants and volunteers, and the collection of good quality data.

What is the biggest problem your research is addressing?

In implant dentistry, we often have the ‘hard skills’ of cutting and suturing and are trained well in the technical skills of implant surgery and implant restoration. We are less attuned to the ‘soft skills’ of patient communication, shared decision making, understanding patients’ values, expectations of outcomes, and patients’ perspectives of dental implant complications and maintenance. Informing patients to facilitate shared decision making, before starting care, could minimise failures and complications in dental implant treatment.

This research aims to address the paucity of research in the dentist-patient interaction during the process of providing dental implants and study the overall management to minimise complications and define factors that influence shared decision making in implant dentistry.

What impact will your research have on practitioners?

Through a consensus process, by exploring how dentists reduce their complications and failures, and by defining factors influencing shared decision making in dental implant treatment, we hope to develop a best practice protocol which provides useful insights to assist practitioners in the care of their patients.

What impact will your research have on patients?

By evaluating patients’ perspective of dental implant complications, expectations of treatment outcomes and patients’ values regarding dental implant treatment, we hope to gain deeper insights in understanding our patients, which will lead to value-based care giving, better outcomes for patients and higher satisfaction for patients receiving dental implant treatment.

What would you say to anyone thinking about getting into research?

Give it a go! I never saw myself as a researcher but trying it first-hand has brought me new skill sets, an awareness of bias in my clinical decision making and made me reflect upon how I communicate with my patients. Overall, it is making me a better practitioner, as I am more attuned to patient values and shared decision making.

Find out more about eviDent projects