Cover story: Designing a safety checklist for dental implant placement: A Delphi study

Adam Christman, Stuart Schrader, Vanchit John, Susan Zunt, Gerardo Maupome, Sivaraman Prakasam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background. Complications during and after dental implant placement can be a hindrance to successful treatment. Checklists are emerging as useful tools in error reduction in various fields. The authors selected a Delphi panel to explore the appropriate clinical practices involved in implant placement with the objective of formulating a safety checklist that would aid in reducing errors. Methods. The authors administered a Delphi method survey to an expert panel of 24 board-certified periodontists to determine if consensus existed regarding the critical steps involved in implant placement. They defined consensus as 90 percent agreement among participants. Using the Delphi data the authors designed a safety checklist for implant placement. Results. The panelists generated 20 consensus statements regarding essential steps in implant placement. The authors divided the statements into preoperative intraoperative and postoperative phases. To determine the rationale for consensus decisions the authors conducted a thematic qualitative analysis of responses to all open-ended questionnaire items asking panel members how or why a particular procedure was performed. Conclusion. The panelists reached a consensus regarding the steps they considered critical in implant placement. Further research is needed to assess the acceptance and effectiveness of this type of checklist in a clinical setting. Practical Implications. The authors developed a checklist that may be useful in reducing errors in placement of dental implants. If effective this checklist ultimately will aid in minimizing risk and increasing implant success rates especially for inexperienced practitioners dental students surgical residents and dental implant trainees (that is dentists undergoing training to place implants through continuing education courses).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Delphi technique
  • Dental implants
  • Safety checklists
  • Surgical errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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