Interview with Stephanie Tilley, DMD, and Timothy Kosinski, DDS, MAGD
NP: Tim, many practitioners have started doing implants without any direct mentoring, but a lot of people still need an extra push. What hints can you offer?
TK: One of the things that impresses me about Dr. Tilley is that she brings along her staff members to all these meetings. I think this is so important, yet so few dentists do it. In addition, she’s made investments in the things required to make a practice efficient and proficient, such as CBCT scanning. As dentists, we have a tendency to cut costs here and there. But if you’re going to do this kind of work, you need the right tools.
NP: Absolutely. So, Dr. Tilley, as someone who has taken other implant classes, is there something unique about the way Dr. Kosinski conducts his training that has really made the difference for you?
ST: He refers to his instructions as a “recipe” — if you follow his recipe for grafting and extraction, you’ll get the results you need to go on and apply the recipe for correct implant placement. If you follow the recipe step by step, then nine times out of 10 you’ll achieve the results that Dr. Kosinski gets in his office. A lot of dentists like to skip a step, and then they wonder why the procedure doesn’t turn out right. The way he teaches implantology is very practical for a busy practice, and it’s safe and efficient for our patients. It’s worked every time for me so far.
NP: Tim, you have one of the biggest implant practices in the U.S., yet you spend a lot of time mentoring. What’s in it for you?
TK: I think I’ve always been an educator at heart. Even when I came out of my residency, I taught dental school courses on my days off.
To be able to give back to the profession is probably the most rewarding thing for me, especially at this point in my career. I still find it very humbling to be asked to present at a big meeting or teach courses for Glidewell Clinical Education. The traveling is hard, but I enjoy myself when I’m speaking in front of audiences.
On top of that, when you find and mentor somebody special like Dr. Tilley — someone who wants to absorb as much information as possible and make sure every case is ideal, yet doesn’t have a huge ego — passing the baton to the next generation feels very rewarding.
NP: Well said. Stephanie and Tim, anything else you’d like to say that you think would help other people?
ST: I just hope that other people are as fortunate as I am to find a teacher and mentor like Dr. Kosinski.
TK: Dr. Tilley amazes me. She built a magnificent practice from scratch, and she works with five hygienists. I’ve seen her manage her practice on a day-to-day basis, and she runs circles around me. She works very, very hard, and she’s been able to build something from the ground up on her own. That makes for a very special person who deserves all the successes that she’s going to achieve. And we at Glidewell Clinical Education want all our attendees to be as successful as possible — that’s why we as instructors make ourselves available for questions, comments and guidance long after the courses are done. Ultimately, when we freely share clinical knowledge, we’re making a difference in the lives of practitioners — as well as the patients they treat.