Age-Old Problems, New Solutions
When it comes to dental health problems, the old expression, "There's nothing new under the sun," seems to apply. Most dental problems are as old as mankind. Yet somehow, with the aid of science, research, medicine, and technology, the dental profession keeps finding new solutions to these familiar, timeworn maladies.
Our first continuing education (CE) article bears out this concept quite well. Edentulism has plagued mankind since, well, probably forever, and solutions have continued to progress, seemingly culminating with the invention of titanium implants. As we see in this article, however, titanium implants are not necessarily the be-all end-all. Ceramic dental implants, which up until recently were considered primarily a "niche" product, are becoming increasingly integrated into mainstream dentistry. Their top selling point is not just better esthetics but, perhaps more importantly, the excellent inflammation-free peri-implant soft-tissue condition associated with them. This article offers an in-depth discussion of the materials, characteristics, and application concepts of ceramic implants.
Our second CE article examines another age-old problem: cervical lesions. In examining published literature for causative factors of cervical dentin hypersensitivity and noncarious cervical lesions, the author highlights considerable debate that has surrounded this topic for decades and determines that there are three fundamental etiological mechanisms related to these anomalies. The article describes this trio of etiologies and gives direction on what clinicians must do prior to administering treatment.
Also, while irregularities in dental anatomy are nothing new to dentists, the means by which they detect them have taken a giant leap forward with the advent of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). This issue of Compendium features a case report that demonstrates the effectiveness of CBCT usage in endodontic treatment of a mandibular premolar with atypical anatomy. Other clinical reports show the use of innovative techniques for: preserving pulp vitality in an asymptomatic deep carious lesion, implant placement lateral to the inferior alveolar nerve, and correcting occlusal dysfunction while improving a patient's esthetics.
Two things seem to be certain in dentistry: patients will continue to present with the same old problems, and clinicians will keep finding new ways to provide improved care. Our goal at Compendium is to keep bringing our readers better solutions.
Markus B. Blatz, DMD, PhD