Looking Back, Forging Ahead
Sometimes, moving forward requires a look back. Forging ahead may necessitate a review of the past and some analysis. As I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions before in this space, technology in dentistry—as in the world around us—continues to evolve, and in the process so does the profession.
In this issue of Compendium, we provide a retrospective analysis of implant technology. Computed tomography (CT)–guided technology, while still used far less often than conventional means for dental implant placement, has made significant inroads, and studies have confirmed its precision and accuracy. In our Research section this month, we offer a 7-year retrospective study in which the authors present cumulative survival rates (CSRs) of 796 implants placed “fully guided” in 177 patients using CT-guided surgery. The study, which examined various implant systems, types, and dimensions, concluded that fully guided implant CSR was comparable to “freehand” placement. As clinicians become increasingly amenable to high-tech modalities, and with favorable survival rates, CT-guided implant surgery could see more widespread use.
On the topic of implants, an emerging technique involves the insertion of small titanium bars within inderdental osseous peaks in an effort to prevent bone resorption and maintain papilla height so as to avoid unesthetic “black triangles.” A case report illustrates this technique and shows how a positive gingival architecture was created and maintained even following multiple tooth extractions in the esthetic zone.
In our first CE this month, the focus is on helping practitioners help their patients protect their periodontal health with interventions based on understanding the bacterial etiology and inflammatory progression of periodontal disease. Among available therapies aimed at breaking the microbiologic and inflammatory cascade that often progresses to disease, oral rinses, the author writes, are minimally invasive and can be a patient-friendly method of proactive intervention. Our other CE reviews mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA), a multi-application material used in endodontics.
At Compendium, we’re forging ahead with a redesigned website. After pausing and reviewing visitor feedback and conducting our own research, the makeover is aimed at easier navigation and better access to the current print edition. Be sure to visit www.compendiumlive.com.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD