frequently asked questions of aim


Frequently Asked Questions of AIM

Can you explain “Mentoring”?

A mentor is defined as a trusted counselor or guide. A mentor is an individual who is more experienced; who helps guide another individual’s development. The mentor’s role is to guide, to give advice, and to support the mentee. With most traditional continuing education courses, the educational relationship ends with the meeting adjourning. With AIM, our instructors expect to be contacted regarding the cases that have been diagnosed and treatment planned as a part of the course taken. At a surgical course, the mentoring continues throughout the healing and restorative phases of the treatment. Our instructors make themselves available via email and phone when needed to guide you through the diagnostic, surgical and restorative phases of implant placement.

What types of courses does AIM offer?

  1. Unit Courses – these are stand-alone courses that are open to all types of student doctors and their TEAMS. They are typically offered in one day increments and are sometimes scheduled back to back to help doctors and their TEAMS logistically attend while condensing travel costs.  They all have hands on exercise components that are performed on typodonts designed for that specific course and its content.  These Unit Courses are presented in Detroit, Cleveland, or other cities as requested.
  2. Module Courses – these courses are two or three day surgical courses that are offered in both Cleveland and Detroit. While there is a logical progression through the series of modules, many doctors choose to direct their own path through the module series based upon their own level of didactic and surgical experience.  The format of the three day modules is one day of lecture and hands on exercises, followed by two days of surgical procedures performed on the patients that the student doctors refer to our Detroit or Cleveland offices.  There is coordinated didactic, hands on, and surgical training occurring with the student doctor’s clinical assistants as well.  It is therefore strongly recommended that each student doctor bring his key clinical assistant(s) to these courses.  It has been our observation that the doctors who bring their TEAM along for training not only train themselves, but empower the entire office to succeed in dental implantology.
  3. Business Courses – these are courses that are meant to look at the practice management side, as opposed to the clinical side, of the dental practice. Their purpose is to enable the office to attract, enroll, maintain and monitor the types of patients that the doctor needs to perform the services and procedures that are learned in the Module and Unit course series.
  4. Dental Society/Company Sponsored Courses – these are presentations made by request from a company or group in order to attract and teach students in a particular venue. The course content typically contains elements of the core AIM courses listed above, but is more tailored and focused on a specific aspect of implant dentistry. There is no listing of these presentations as they are customized presentations assembled as requested by the specific company or group.

What is the student-teacher ratio and why is that so important?

In order to positively affect the doctors and TEAMS that present to us for mentoring, we keep the student-teacher ratio at 3 -1 for all Module Courses. Unlike many other teaching institutions in dentistry, AIM has no desire to be the BIGGEST. Our ardent desire however, is to be the BEST and most PERSONALIZED. In this way we can provide the personal guidance required to mentor each doctor accordingly.

Why should I bring my clinical assistant(s) to these courses?

Training and empowering your clinical assistant enables them to completely understand not only the “procedure” of placing the implant, but to understand the “process” of diagnosis, patient education, clinical assisting, surgical stent fabrication and patient enrollment. This is the combination of skills that propels the assistant from a bystander to an active participant in this service being provided in your practice. For your hygiene and business TEAM members, AIM provides the business courses to involve them in the Expanded Services Practice business model. With our 50 years plus of combined teaching and mentoring experience, we have seen time and time again that the doctors who train their TEAM are the same offices that continue to place and restore implants for years to come!

What makes the Advanced Implant Mentoring Surgical Modules unique?

Unlike so many of the services we offer to our patients, implant dentistry is a WANT based procedure, not a need based one. This distinct difference dictates that the entire dental team be educated and trained in the PROCESS of dental implantology within your practice. In order to succeed in the successful integration of dental implantology into your practice, AIM firmly believes that being able to learn the ENTIRE PROCESS with YOUR OWN PATIENTS is critical. The learning potential that this scenario provides is limitless. Understanding your patient’s wants, needs, implant environment, health history, dental history, occlusal scheme, esthetic desires and financial capabilities all play into the learning process. To remove even one of these elements decreases your systems implementation for your office. Courses that provide the patients, the diagnosis, the assistants and the post-operative care packed into one intensive sun-drenched week are lacking the essentials of “systems implementation” for dental implantology. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you refer (bring) your own patients from your own practice to the AIM practice where you will be attending the surgical modules. In this way, you will be able to gather meaningful records, provide a mentored diagnosis and treatment plan, provide the service alongside the AIM instructor, perform the post-operative care, and finally, fabricate and deliver the final prosthetics to your patient…start to finish. PRICELESS!

That’s great…but how can I get my patients to travel to an AIM office?

  1. By having the entire TEAM involved in the process, this becomes a reality. All of us have potential implant patients in our practice.  Many of them are not only patients, but are “friends of the practice” as well.  Additionally, one of the patient motivators for any procedure can be dollar savings.  Let your patients know that you are expanding the services you provide for your patients by taking high level continuing education courses in a mentoring environment.  The service that they want (dental implant with restoration) and need is the exact thing that you are involved with.  By bundling (packaging) the diagnosis, surgical placement and final restoration into one fee, the student doctor can then offer a dollar savings to the patient in exchange for the time and cost to travel to an AIM office for the procedure.  The process goes like this:
    1. Gather Records – Follow the AIM Records Protocol (a separate page on our website) to gather the appropriate diagnostic information. Submit the records to the AIM instructor you are paired with.
    2. Diagnosis, Treatment Plan and Surgical Fee Estimate – Once submitted to the AIM instructor, a collaborative diagnosis and treatment plan is established that includes an estimate of the surgical fees. The treatment plan will include the surgical placement of the implant(s) as well as the restorations over them.  Take into consideration that AIM surgical fees are deeply reduced to enable participation of our student doctors and their patients.  See the current AIM Surgical Fees sheet on a separate page on this website.
    3. Presentation of the Treatment Plan and Fees to the Patient – The treatment plan and accompanying fees are now presented to the patient with the following considerations:
      1. What would the regular fees of the “bundled” (including the abutments and prosthetics) treatment plan be if you performed the procedure at your office OR in conjunction with the “implant provider” you currently use?
      2. How much savings are you willing to offer the patient to entice them to participate in the course? Remember that there is a “cost of education” to you, the student doctor.
  • How much of a savings do you think will be necessary to entice the patient to travel and participate in the AIM Course? Remember that the savings is reflected in the entire “bundled fee” not just the surgical component.  This gives the student doctor an opportunity to recoup some of the profit through the prosthetic phase of the treatment.
  1. Remember that there is time needed for integration, uncovering and prosthetic procedures. This time can be used to make the treatment affordable on a monthly basis for your patient.
  2. The considerations listed above will guide towards the optimum financial arrangement to be made between YOUR OFFICE and YOUR PATIENT.
  1. Surgical Portion of Fees due to AIM – The exact surgical fee that is due AIM will be calculated once the procedure is completed. That amount is to be paid to AIM by the student doctor (not the patient) with cash, check, or credit card. In this way, the financial arrangement between the patient and the student doctor’s office is not violated or superseded.
  2. The patient completes the procedure at the “home office” – The normal post-operative care, and restorative phase of the treatment is now completed at the student doctor’s office. At the same time, the financial arrangements are now completed with the student doctor’s office.
  3. Once the patient accepts the treatment plan and finalizes the financial arrangements – Please contact the respective AIM office so that patient registration information can be forwarded. This will enact the referral process to the AIM office.

How many implants will I get to place at each course?

The exact amount that you will place is directly related to the number of patients (and their respective needs) that you bring to the course. However, through the case presentation portion of the course, you will participate in all of the procedures performed during the course. You and your assistant will be present during the pre-surgical discussions, the prep work in the lab, the setting up of the treatment rooms, the actual surgeries, post-op instructions to the patient, and finally, the post-operative discussions with all the other doctors present. Each student doctor’s cases will be learning cases for all of the other participants.

I have already purchased implants and a “kit” from a previous course. Can I bring those implants and my kit to use, or do I have to place the type of implant that AIM currently is placing?

Interestingly enough, this is a common scenario for our student doctors. Many student doctors find themselves in a position where they have been “sold” previously and are now looking for the education, mentoring and confidence to be able “place” what they were sold. This is why AIM exists! You are most welcome to bring your implants and kits for use during the Module courses. We teach implant surgery techniques, not a specific system. However, if you do bring and use your own implants, the cost of the procedure due AIM does not change (decrease). Additionally, if the exact size that is required for the best patient care is not available, then the appropriate diameter and length will be chosen from our implant inventory. By looking at the AIM website more closely, you will see that AIM has been provided Educational Grants from numerous companies. These are the companies that we support by using their products.

What do I need to bring/wear to the Module/Unit Courses?

For all of the courses, the attire is “dressy casual” for the lectures. For the hands on portion of all of the courses your loupes with illumination are recommended. Additionally, you will want to bring surgical scrubs for the module courses to change into and out of. Bring all of the patient records listed on the “Patient Records Protocol” sheet as well. Please note that digital radiographs and images allow for easier viewing. Also note that study models are to be mount on an articulator in a centric relation – maximum intercuspation occlusion. All other surgical instrumentation, supplies and medicaments will be provided.

What are the course logistics for each particular course and venue?

Upon payment of the registration fee related to the course(s) you are taking, you will be emailed travel, lodging, and dining information relevant to the particular venue you will be attending. Specific agendas will be forwarded as well. In general, all Unit Courses begin with registration at 7:30am and the presentation beginning promptly at 8:00am. All but the surgery courses end by 5:00-5:30pm. For all courses a continental breakfast, healthy snacks and lunch are provided. Any further questions or clarifications can be directed to the AIM Course Administrator.

See the AIM Course Calendar
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