Rising to New Heights
For several decades now, innovations in implant dentistry have been lifting the dental profession to new heights. Whether it's treatment planning, surgery, or prosthetics, new technologies and methodologies are enabling practitioners to provide higher levels of care to patients, resulting in not only better function and optimal oral health, but also improved esthetics.
One specific area of evolution has been full-arch implant prosthodontics. As our first continuing education (CE) article discusses, full-arch prosthetic dentistry has advanced from protocols that involved complex, multi-step analog procedures to efficient digital production of immediately loaded prosthetic dentitions. In their review of implant prosthodontics, the authors look back at some of the early challenges clinicians faced, the impact of immediate loading of implants, and newer digital approaches that are driving this profession today.
Implant abutment design has also benefited from technological advancement. As implants have grown in usage and popularity, abutment design has become increasingly crucial in minimizing the risk of peri-implant disease. Our second CE article this issue discusses how design elements such as abutment topography, material, and height can affect the risk for development of this rather prevalent disease, as well as the important roles of the implant-abutment connection and emergence profile.
Another factor that has helped elevate the quality of dental care has been the recognition of interdisciplinary collaboration. Thanks to the Internet and digital technologies, partnering with dental colleagues has never been easier. Our Roundtable article this month focuses on interdisciplinary communication-among the dentist, surgeon, and laboratory-in surgically based restorative dentistry. We also feature a case report describing a multidisciplinary approach to smile restoration, and our Kois Center Case discusses how clinical and laboratory components were combined for successful treatment of congenitally missing teeth.
Rounding out this issue is a case report on endodontic management of a rare four-rooted mandibular second molar, and a Special Report on adhesive dentistry.
Indeed, technology has opened up myriad new possibilities in the practice of dentistry. Compendium will continue to report on evolving developments to assist clinicians as they strive to reach new heights.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD