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Because patients tend to visit their dentist more frequently than other healthcare professionals, clinicians are in a unique, and important, position. Dentists, who typically see their patients two or three times a year, can serve as a first line of defense against potential disease and other health issues. If an ailment is starting to affect a patient, it may be a dentist who detects it first.
In this issue of Compendium, we highlight the importance of early detection in our article on head and neck skin cancer. The authors explain how vital it is for clinicians to go beyond oral cancer examinations to include head and neck skin cancer exams. This, they say, can help arrest a very common malignancy in its primary stages. Since the majority of skin cancers are found on the head and neck, it makes sense for clinicians to perform potentially life-saving skin cancer exams.
Another area where clinician intervention can benefit a patient is through the process of remineralization of tooth structure. In our first continuing education (CE) article, the authors propose that based on an in-vitro study, therapeutic strategies in remineralization, which have long focused on the use of fluorides and various forms of calcium phosphate, could be expanded—and improved—by including nanoparticle hydroxyapatite.
Our other CE article discusses a technique in which a resorbable mesh, which has advantages over titanium mesh, is combined with an osteoinductive protein (rhBMP-2) and freeze-dried bone allograft to reconstruct resorbed alveolar ridges for implant placement. The author explains how this approach not only decreases morbidity, but it may also increase case acceptance.
In our case reports, we focus on the “digitalizing” of implant dentistry, as well as strategizing for high-risk esthetically driven restorations. We also feature a Special Report on tooth whitening that advises dentists on how to advise their patients when it comes to this popular treatment.
On p.223 you’ll see an overview of new “Online Only” articles, which Compendium publishes each month in addition to the printed articles. A web address with each article links directly to the article on Compendium’s website, www.dentalaegis.com/cced. These peer-reviewed articles are an extension of the publication and can be used as a resource to further expand your dental knowledge.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD