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When I left the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 1984, I did an internship in hospital dentistry at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, followed by a fellowship there in medical anesthesiology, and a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery. I became a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery in 1991.

My decision to focus on dental implant surgery took me on a bumpy journey through several additional postgraduate training courses before I developed the competence and confidence to do the very best possible for every patient. I was frustrated by having to go to one place to learn one thing and then another to learn something else that I should have learned first.

There was a cost to my learning inefficiency. But I aspired to get to the top, no matter how many times I came to a temporary impasse. And, beyond a burning desire to get control of the subject matter and master dental implant surgery, I kept thinking there had to be a better way of managing and developing implant sites. Inquisitiveness led me into research and pioneering new procedures.

When I started teaching my oral and maxillofacial surgery colleagues and residents, it became clear that I really and truly enjoyed teaching. It also became clear there was a need for a step-like curriculum and a supportive learning center to help dental clinicians develop their competency in implant dentistry and dental implant surgery, in the most efficient and least frustrating manner. That is why I created The Sclar Center for Empowered Dental Implant Learning.

Today, the prospects for developing a profitable dental implant practice and practicing with ease of mind are very good for any clinician willing to learn the necessary knowledge and skills.

Over time, you can raise the bar on what procedures you perform and the type of cases you manage. It will be a smooth, efficient process if you follow The Sclar Dental Implant Knowledge Pyramid.

This pyramid represents the knowledge base that serves as a prerequisite to achieve success at the next level. Some clinicians already have sufficient knowledge and experience to start at a higher level than others. If you are fortunate to start, at the beginning, with what I call the “Essentials Level,” and then progress, you will be on the most efficient and productive path, without having to back up to fill voids in your knowledge and surgical training.

1. The Essentials for a broad and sound foundation are comprised of learning:

  • how to develop low risk interdisciplinary restorative and surgical treatment plans,
  • how to perform successful implant consultations and case presentations,
  • how to precisely execute implant surgery protocols,
  • how to successfully manage soft and hard tissues,
  • how to successfully manage extraction sites and perform ridge preservation procedures with immediate and delayed implant placement,
  • how to avoid and manage common intra-operative surgical implant complications, and
  • how to successfully manage soft and hard tissues during implant surgery and properly sequence peri-implant augmentation procedures;

… for straightforward partially edentulous implant cases, for edentulous implant cases with minimal to moderate atrophy, and for advanced, partially edentulous implant cases.

2. The Soft Tissue Management Level is the second phase of the implantologist’s ideal training and consists of learning contemporary reconstructive soft tissue and periodontal plastic surgery procedures for enhancing function and esthetics around dental implants and natural dentition.

3. The Hard Tissue Management Level is the third phase of ideal training and consists of learning contemporary intra-oral bone regeneration and hard tissue implant site development procedures to allow for restoration-driven implant placement at advanced sites with deficient alveolar ridges.

4. The Esthetics Level is the fourth phase of ideal training for clinicians with advanced experience in implant dentistry. At this level, the clinician sharpens diagnostic, treatment planning and surgical skills for esthetic implant site development, and gains understanding of the prosthodontic protocols and procedures. 

5. The Avoidance and Management of Complications Level is the fifth phase of ideal training and consists of the in-depth study of a broad range of common complications and complications related to esthetic site development, including complex treatment planning and the practice of surgical procedures.

Although completion of the Dental Implant Knowledge Pyramid takes time, the clinician’s implant practice is building throughout the experience to reach the top tier of services, with predictable results, and the highest profitability. Completion of the pyramid provides the tools and confidence to consistently achieve excellent results while minimizing complications for your patients. Completion and mastery of the knowledge pyramid represents a tremendous accomplishment and will distinguish your practice amongst the best.

Remember, at The Sclar Center, we care and are available to answer your questions about how to best manage your journey to the top of the pyramid.


  1. July 17, 2012

    Dear Dr. Sclar,
    This pyramid show us that identifying/solving complications is a nice way to improve.
    All the best,

  2. August 5, 2012

    A very well said blog! potential client would really learn a lot.. thank you for this very helpful blog about dental implants. Now people would have a lot reason to go on this procedure. :)

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