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Science never stops. Technology keeps advancing. And when you factor in good old-fashioned human ingenuity, you have a recipe for continued improvement. In dentistry, through the years materials have been refined, products have improved, and techniques simplified. Yet, despite relentless innovations, clinicians still face challenges every day. Utopia may be unattainable—but that won’t stop us from trying to get there.
In this month’s continuing education (CE) curriculum, we feature two areas of dentistry that are in constant development yet still present challenges. Our CE2 article discusses the history—and progress—of low-shrink composite resins. The authors point out that through copious research and development over many decades, clinicians today have an enhanced understanding of the shrinkage behavior and resultant stresses inherent in direct placed composite restorations. Despite this, polymerization shrinkage continues to present issues. The article provides strategies for reducing such shrinkage in composite resins, including the use of various filler particles.
Dental pain is another challenging area, as researchers for centuries have sought to minimize its impact on patients. In CE1, the authors assess the analgesic efficacy and tolerability of intranasal ketorolac for patients with postsurgical pain following implant placement. The study elucidates this newest formulation of ketorolac, which allows patients to self-administer the drug outside the hospital setting.
Even with new technology readily available, hard economic times, as we’ve seen in recent years, can limit clinicians who want to provide their patients optimal treatment. Patients may not be able to make the financial commitment needed. In our case reports, several conservative, cost-effective—and time-saving—solutions are outlined.
As always, I am confident you will find this issue of Compendium valuable as you look to maximize your knowledge of dentistry and minimize the impact that challenges pose. In addition, our website serves as a valuable resource for overcoming daily challenges. Check it out at www.compendiumlive.com.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD