Esthetic Implant Dentistry
It is amazing to think how far dental implant therapy has come since Dr. Brånemark introduced the concept of osseointegration roughly half a century ago. Protocols have evolved, techniques have advanced, and immediate-load concepts have emerged. Although they are not natural teeth, dental implant restorations are the next best thing-enabling patients to bite and chew naturally and helping preserve bone.
But perhaps the area where dental implants have most dramatically advanced in recent years is esthetics. For many years, good osseointegration and function was enough to be deemed "successful." Today, however, as implant dentistry has grown, patients have come to expect more. To be successful, an implant restoration, particularly one in the anterior region of the mouth, must also be esthetic. And with the tools and technology available to practitioners today-along with the many lessons learned and documented over the past 50 years-any implant restoration can be an esthetic one.
This issue of Compendium is our Annual Implant Issue, and this year we've chosen anterior esthetics as the theme. Guest editor Dr. Barry P. Levin has assembled a roster of highly qualified clinicians and academicians from around the globe to contribute their knowledge, wisdom, and experience to this very special publication. The continuing education (CE) curriculum includes an excellent discussion of long-term biologic complications associated with implants in the esthetic zone and their impact on treatment decisions. Our other CE article discusses treatment options for the compromised maxillary anterior tooth, which often poses a highly challenging situation for dentists.
Several "technique" articles also center around esthetic implant dentistry, including reviews on the importance of the emergence profile, management and augmentation of a deficient site, and current materials used for esthetic restorations. No implant issue would be complete without a report on digital technology; our Special Report highlights digital implant planning and surgical guides. Other topics covered are essential elements to esthetic-zone implants and surgical wound management.
Implant dentistry continues to evolve-quickly. Whether you are placing implants, restoring them, or considering integrating them into your practice, I believe the contents of this issue will be beneficial. Thank you for your support of Compendium.
Markus B. Blatz, DMD, PhD