A Strong Foundation
As has been the case for the past decade, the July/August issue of Compendium is an annual thematic issue focusing on implant dentistry, this being the 11th such edition. Implant dentistry has skyrocketed over this time period, witnessing one advancement after another. The modern dental implant itself has experienced changes in shapes, lengths, diameters, contours, textures, surfaces, thread designs, and more, and is now made to osseointegrate better than ever before and allow a wider range of patients to be restored to oral health.
Thus, you might find it surprising that this particular "annual implant issue" does not really discuss the qualities of dental implants themselves. In fact, the authors hardly mention the dental implant device. Instead, what this implant issue focuses on is improving the quality of the bone so that the implant can succeed. If the implant is the "house," the bone into which it is placed is the "foundation." Every good house needs a good foundation. This special implant issue of Compendium concentrates on the "foundation."
As you will see, there are a number of creative ways to improve both the quantity and quality of bone and, in essence, create a clean canvas for the dental restoration. In our first continuing education (CE) article, the authors provide not just a presentation on the use of partial extraction therapy (PET) in implant dentistry, but also a biologic discussion on how and why this method of preserving hard- and soft-tissue volume works. Our second CE article describes the use of a novel cross-linked collagen-based absorbable bone scaffold to facilitate implant site preservation.
Various other clinical techniques for the enhancement of bone are also presented. These include lasso guided bone regeneration for managing implant fenestration defects, the "double-up" technique using a dual absorbable scaffold for correction of ridge contour deficiencies, and osseodensification for immediate molar replacement. These clinical technique reviews all feature case reports demonstrating these innovative bone enhancement solutions.
We hope this special issue of Compendium encourages and educates clinicians in the importance of building a strong foundation for implant placement. As it's been said, it is wise to build your house on solid rock and not on shifting sand.
Markus B. Blatz, DMD, PhD
Rodrigo Neiva, DDS, MS