Meet Dr Keith Doonan

Posted on 12th July 2021

As a graduate of the Australian Performing Arts Conservatory, it’s little wonder Dr Keith Doonan is as entertaining as he is skilled at presenting.  

“I just look attendees in the eyes, so they feel too intimated to fall asleep,” he jokes, when asked how he keeps attendees engaged. “Doing a simple thing like greeting people individually at the start of the lecture can change the whole dynamic of the day. It surprises me how many people come up at the end of the lecture and say, ‘That’s the first lecture I have not fallen asleep in’”.  

Keith may be a talented actor performer and amateur magician, but he is a skilled implant dentist, first and foremost. He was encouraged to pursue a dental career by his mother, who steered him towards the profession at just five years’ old.  

Keith will be presenting Dealing with Implant Failures in September. The course will cover: 

  • Risk analysis and when to say no
    Most common failures
    Planning to prevent failure
    Communications with the laboratory
    Zirconia and why it fails
    Peri-implantitis
    Occlusal overload and late failure
    Recovering from failed implants
    Removing failed implants

“Attendees can expect to see real-life problems and practical solutions to common problems,” Keith says. “They will get an understanding of where things can go wrong, and we look at the psychology of decision making and unconscious incompetence.” 

Keith says understanding authority gradient is also an important aspect to avoid problems. 

“In a team, you have a surgeon in charge, then you might have two or three people around him who aren’t as qualified, but they still know what’s going on,” he explains. “The surgeon is really clever, and he knows how to cut a leg off. Everyone around him doesn’t know how to do that, but they know he’s cutting the wrong leg off … yet they don’t say anything. 

“In dentistry, to avoid problems, you need to include your team and give them a little bit of responsibility. Encourage them to speak up whenever they think something is not quite right.” 

According to Keith, one of the most common challenges dentists face in implant dentistry is finding suitable patients. 

“The biggest challenge is saying no to people when they’re not suitable,” he explains. “Often people aren’t suitable for an implant, but we still go ahead, and that’s where we get the most problems. The simplest way of improving your implant success rate is to start saying no to people.” 

As a general practitioner, Keith’s CPD courses are practical and relatable. “I’m not a specialist – I’m a general practitioner with a Masters in Prosthodontics and I work in a very busy dental practice,” he explains. 

“If you’re a specialist, there’s a filter,” he adds. “Specialists do not see everyone – they see specially-selected patients who are usually wealthier and automatically more likely to be suitable for implants. For a general dentist, they must filter out all those people who are not suitable.” 

Keith Doonan will present Dealing with Implant Failures on September 9 at ADA House.