Navigating Your Way
Early on, implant dentistry had an uncertain reputation, due in part to questionable outcomes and scant scientific records. Today, there is a better understanding of the potential risks and adverse outcomes of treatment. Evidence in the literature now allows for better selection of patients along with improved and innovative surgical and prosthetic materials and protocols, which can be used to produce more predictable and sometimes simpler methods to manage tissue deficiencies and restorative obstacles while attaining better functional and esthetic outcomes. The growing recognition of the importance of well-designed clinical trials and reporting will further reduce failures and risks by offering clinicians tools to make better decisions at all stages of treatment. Today's dogmas will continue to be challenged and minimized by this effort to practice evidence-based dentistry.
Digital concepts and tools further move implant therapy in a positive direction by better facilitating and, thus, strengthening collaboration among clinicians, technicians, and patients. If anything, the constructive patient-dentist-technician communication borne out of this digital platform has fashioned a greater understanding of what can be achieved in a patient's restoration, allowing clinicians to avoid over-promising. Arguably, digital dentistry forms the basis for the most significant development in dental medicine. Yet we also recognize that clinician training, knowledge, and expertise still override technology. Treatment planning, documentation, and use of appropriate protocols to manage and minimize peri-implant complications remain essential in the placement, restoration, and maintenance of implant restorations.
This special thematic issue of Compendium has been crafted to help clinicians maneuver through the impact implant dentistry is having on their practices. We have invited clinicians who are prominent in their communities and as educators to contribute evidence-based articles in their areas of expertise. They were charged with producing works that could influence thought processes, broaden clinicians' knowledge, and challenge readers' thinking.
A continuing education (CE) article identifies the challenges clinicians face in recognizing and managing peri-implant tissue health and implant success. This issue also features a variety of cutting-edge case reports. One emphasizes how treatment planning is the starting point for successful esthetic and functional outcomes. Another reviews the challenges of managing compromised implants, describing treatment options that could be considered to salvage non-ideal cases and demonstrating that innovations, whether surgically or prosthetically based, continue to impact results, especially in difficult clinical scenarios. A third study illustrates the importance of innovation in implant design, and yet another describes creative applications in the extraoral environment and the life-changing impact they can have on patients. Finally, this annual issue on implants includes a CE article on how the digital workflow is dramatically influencing surgical and restoring clinicians by reducing human error and enhancing treatment planning for esthetic and functional success while optimizing communication between clinicians and their patients.
We hope you enjoy this unique edition of Compendium and that it serves as a valuable learning resource for all those interested in expanding their dental implant capacities.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD
Sonia S. Leziy, DDS, Dipl. Perio
Brahm A. Miller, DDS, Dipl. Pros