Clearing Up Confusion
Despite numerous consensus statements and practice guidelines for oral healthcare during pregnancy issued by various national and state organizations, many pregnant women and their health professionals, including dentists, are unsure about the safety of dental care during this period. However, as scientific information continues to emerge regarding the relationship between oral health and overall health, more clarity is surfacing as to the provision of dental care for pregnant patients.
As one of our two continuing education articles this month emphasizes, good oral health and dental hygiene are critical to a healthy pregnancy. Clinicians should recognize the physiologic changes that occur during pregnancy and their relevance to dental care delivery. This article, the first of several that Compendium intends to publish this year on this topic, discusses the dental management of a healthy pregnant patient-the do's and don'ts, you might say-including the importance of interprofessional collaboration with the perinatal team.
Our other CE article also discusses a topic that has caused some uncertainty in the dental profession. The evaluation of occlusal caries has traditionally been done using a sharp explorer, but, as the authors note, the potential for underdiagnosis exists. They delineate the sequence for detecting and classifying pit-and-fissure lesions using a visual/tactile approach based on established classification systems and explain decision-making processes for this type of caries.
In our Kois Center Case, a technique is described that employs partial extraction therapy (PET). As illustrated, PET maintains facial/buccal alveolar bone and peri-implant tissue after tooth loss to help achieve successful implant esthetics, function, and periodontal health.
Other notable topics in this issue include a technique to optimize titanium implant abutment esthetics while maintaining peri-implant tissue health; the use of a combination of proposed decontaminative treatments for peri-implantitis therapy; and, in a roundtable article featuring a trio of clinicians experienced in the use of dental lasers, a discussion of lasers for treatment of inflammatory disease.
From pregnant patient care to occlusal caries diagnosis, not everything in dentistry is clear-cut. Debate rages over any number of issues. Our hope at Compendium (compendiumlive.com) is that we can provide practitioners some clarity along the way.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD