Discovering New Paths
Compendium has long prided itself on reporting on innovative, cutting-edge dental techniques and practices. If there's a novel yet proven way of performing a procedure, treating a condition, or generating a cure, we want to bring it to our readers. As advances in technologies and materials occur-often at breakneck speed-new possibilities for practitioners continually open up.
In this issue of Compendium, we highlight several novel developments that have already impacted dentistry yet are likely to have an even greater future ahead. Let's start with the article depicted on the cover. The socket-shield technique, developed about a decade ago, is a creative method for immediate implantation that helps alleviate resorption of alveolar bone around an extraction socket. In a 5-year case series, the authors present a modified socket-shield immediate placement procedure in which the gap between the tooth root remnant, or "shield," and implant fixture was not grafted. The case series, which shows stable ridge dimension, suggests that shielded gaps around immediate implants may be left ungrafted, potentially reducing infection risk and costs.
Another case series in this issue describes an innovative use of bioactive ground dentin for guided bone regeneration as part of implant treatment. As the authors explain, a patient's extracted tooth may be turned into an autologous osseous graft to aid in socket preservation or augmentation and be utilized with immediate or delayed implant protocols. This graft material is highly biocompatible and capable of full conversion to host bone over a number of months.
New developments in platelet concentrates, as the authors of one of our continuing education articles describe, are taking the field of biological surgical wound additives by storm. This article reviews the current evidence and advancements regarding injectable platelet-rich fibrin, or i-PRF, and its potential future applications. The liquid, or injectable, form of this second-generation platelet concentrate gives it the unique ability to be mixed with various biomaterials for an expanded range of applications.
These are just a few of the innovations featured in this issue. To provide patients the best treatment possible sometimes requires that clinicians branch out, explore new ideas, and put inventive procedures to work. At Compendium, we strive to help you discover those new paths.
Markus B. Blatz, DMD, PhD