Young, Old, and In-Between
From toddlers to teens, young adults to older adults, to our elderly friends, dental patients come in all age groups with a broad range of needs. In this issue of Compendium, our content addresses topics relevant to clinicians treating a variety of patient populations.
Millions of senior citizens are impacted by edentulism, and as our first CE article explains, implant overdentures are a key component in contemporary dentistry as a way to treat and overcome this disability. The authors detail surgical protocols for this modality of treatment, which are different than for fixed implant-supported options, and discuss how implant overdenture prostheses provide predictable survival, good function, and, perhaps most importantly, high patient satisfaction compared to conventional removable dentures.
In our second CE article, the issue is cannabis and electronic cigarette use-popular among younger adults-and its possible effect on maxillary sinus augmentation. The authors present a case of a 36-year-old male patient with a history of regular cannabis and e-cig use who experienced an unexpected early sinus graft failure. The article suggests clinicians carefully evaluate social history, including the use of recreational drugs that could be considered risk factors for bone grafting.
This issue also reports on an older patient who desired a fixed implant prosthesis to replace his failing dentition and tooth-supported appliances. The case demonstrates the use of facial analysis with reference glasses and digital smile design that allowed preoperative planning of the incisal edge, lip mobility, and transition zone. The full-mouth implant treatment enabled immediate function and excellent esthetics without grafting.
In addition to age, behavior management in patients with special needs, whether children or adults, can also be a key consideration. In a scoping review, the authors discuss the medical restraint method of protective stabilization and how this somewhat controversial approach to managing patients with special healthcare needs can be used appropriately in dentistry.
This month's "online only" content (p.106) features a study of tongue restriction (aka, tongue-tie) in pediatric patients. In examining more than 300 children, the authors determined that tongue restrictions are quite common in pediatric patients, can cause a variety of impeding symptoms, and require proper assessment and treatment.
As the content of this issue of Compendium amply demonstrates, oral healthcare providers need to be ready for anything-and anyone, whether young, old, or in-between.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD