Backstage with the ITI Curriculum: An Interview with Charlotte Stilwell

Charlotte Stilwell
ITI Curriculum: Interview with Charlotte Stilwell

Launched in early 2019, the ITI Curriculum takes a carefully considered and systematic approach to first steps in implant dentistry for dental professionals. Chair of the ITI Curriculum Implementation Task Force and ITI President-elect Charlotte Stilwell outlines the thinking behind this program.

What was the main idea in creating the ITI Curriculum?
Charlotte Stilwell: It was the logical next step in the ITI’s endeavor to provide the best possible start for those who would like to become active in implant dentistry. The aim was to create a standardized, structured and certified pathway that could be delivered in stages through flexible blended learning. This would allow newcomers to progress to treat ITI SAC Classification Straightforward and selected Advanced implant indications with competence and confidence. The pathway approach ensures that participants first acquire core didactic knowledge across all key aspects of the discipline. They then progress into mentored patient treatment via comprehensive face-to-face education in treatment planning, risk assessment and hands-on training of clinical skills.

How is the program structured?
CS: The ITI Curriculum is structured around the natural, logical entry process to implant dentistry. First, you explore the topic to decide whether it is of interest to you (Domain 1). Next you go into the practical aspects of training yourself, your staff, preparing your practice for the provision of implant therapy (Domain 2). Then you start on the treatment aspect with structured patient assessment and treatment planning (Domain 3), followed by the restorative implant planning and procedures (Domain 4), surgical implant planning and procedures (Domain 5), before rounding off with continuing monitoring and maintenance of implants and, finally, management of their complications (Domain 6). Within each domain the topics are segmented into modules that follow on from one another in a logical order.

Who created the learning content?
CS: The 55 Learning Modules contained in the Foundation and Intermediate levels of the ITI Curriculum, along with their corresponding Assessments, were created over a five-year period from 2013 to 2018. There are at least as many authors drawn from the ITI’s global community of Fellows as there are Learning Modules. Some of these have more than one author, where combined expertise was identified to be essential.

How often do you challenge and update the content?
CS: The ITI’s Curriculum and Academy content is reviewed and updated every three years to meet the American Dental Association CERP accreditation criteria for providing CME/CPD hours. This is a considerable ongoing task undertaken with the help of ITI Scholarship Centers and their Scholars as well as ITI Fellows. A clear advantage of this continuous and comprehensive update lifecycle is that it remains in line with the most current evidence-based scientific literature as well as ITI Consensus statements and clinical guidelines.

What does “evidence-based content” mean in this context?
CS: All ITI Curriculum and ITI Academy content is in line with the best available scientific and clinical evidence sourced directly from the international literature and consensus conferences.

Why is it called an international standard?
CS: Regardless of where in the world an ITI Curriculum certificate holder has undertaken the program, the standardized curriculum, content and exams ensure that they will all have been through the same comprehensive education and training with its didactic core knowledge and practical clinical activity and treatment.

Who was involved in creating the program?
CS: Creating the ITI Curriculum has been a staged process. In the spirit of the ITI, it has also been a collaborative project. The global need for a program of its kind was clear to the ITI’s Board of Directors as well as to several of its national Sections. In the ITI leadership too, past ITI Presidents, Professor Daniel Buser (Switzerland), and Professor David Cochran (USA), current ITI President Dr. Stephen Chen (Australia), and I, as ITI Curriculum Implementation Task Force Chair (UK), have all contributed substantially. ITI Education Committee Chair Professor Daniel Wismeijer (Netherlands), ITI Academy Editor-in-Chief Dr. Anthony Dawson (Australia), and ITI Examination Task Force Chair Merete Aaboe (Denmark), together with their Committee members from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and UK, have all been involved in developing the three-level certification program.

For more information visit ITI Curriculum


Charlotte Stilwell
Charlotte Stilwell
Charlotte Stilwell is a specialist prosthodontist in private practice in Harley Street, London. She trained at the Royal Dental College in Copenhagen, Denmark, followed by postgraduate training at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is a senior lecturer at University Clinics of Dental Medicine, Geneva, and an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Charlotte Stilwell is the current ITI President and has been editor-in chief of the ITI Online Academy and she is chair of the ITI Curriculum task force.
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