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April 2022
Volume 43, Issue 4

What You Don’t Know…

There's a dubious expression that may or may not be true: What you don't know can't hurt you. In other words, if you stay uninformed about a problem, you won't have to worry about it. Although we sometimes might be able to apply this questionable maxim to our lives by shutting out some of the cares of the world, unfortunately as dentists, what we don't know could hurt our patients.

For example, most clinicians are well aware of the many accomplishments of implant dentistry. We're familiar with the success rates of implants reaching upwards of 95% or more. Indeed, modern implantology has revolutionized restorative dentistry-and patients are better off for it.

However, as our first continuing education (CE) article this month points out, a fact that may elude many a clinician is the relatively high occurrence of peri-implant diseases after implants have been placed. As the authors note, peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis-following successful implant placement-are more commonly occurring conditions than perhaps clinicians realize, and thus continued peri-implant maintenance is vital. In underscoring the significance of maintenance visits, this article discusses diagnostic measures clinicians can take to help patients combat peri-implant disease. It is clear that not only does the patient need to upkeep personal hygiene of their implants, but professional peri-implant supportive therapy is also needed.

Our second CE article, a follow-up to one we published earlier this year, describes key aspects of pre- and postsurgical orthodontics related to orthognathic surgery patients. What not all clinicians may fully appreciate is how orthodontic therapy before and after such surgery can help enable long-term surgical orthodontic stability. This article discusses key considerations.

This month's issue also features a report on the potentially harrowing task of performing endodontic access through an all-ceramic crown. Here, ignorance certainly is not bliss, as access preparation, if not done carefully, can damage the porcelain. The article lays out precautionary steps to guide clinicians through this delicate procedure. Other articles discuss a digitally designed ovate pontic for improved hygiene and esthetics, a facially driven treatment utilizing new technologies, and regenerative endodontic procedures.

As clinicians, it is never a good idea to "look the other way." Staying informed and abreast of evolving developments is always the best path to take.


Markus B. Blatz, DMD, PhD

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