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February 2023
Volume 44, Issue 2

Success With Less

In virtually all industries around the globe, whether the medical profession, automobile industry, packaging trade, or countless other fields, businesses and organizations are striving to do more with less. New vehicles are sleeker and lighter-weight. Water bottles and soup cans are thinner and use less material than in the past. In healthcare, miniaturized instruments, smaller incisions, and faster healing times are all the rage.

This tendency certainly holds true in dentistry as well, where minimal invasiveness has long been a rallying cry of clinicians. The practice of preserving dental structure and original tissue has not only been a priority in recent years, but as material science and product development advance, minimally invasive dentistry is thriving. In this issue of Compendium, our continuing education (CE) articles spotlight two examples of this do-more-with-less concept.

The first CE article discusses how "graftless" implantology can be used to treat patients with a highly atrophic maxillary arch-a population group that is on the rise. Typically, implant placement in these edentulous patients requires extensive bone grafting and possibly other invasive procedures such as sinus and nasal lifts. With the arrival of new technologies, however, such as diagnostic imaging and 3D printing, clinicians can now offer patients individualized, subperiosteal implants that adapt to their remaining alveolar bone. Additionally, paranasal, pterygoid, and zygomatic implants that utilize the patient's extraoral facial bone outside the alveolar process can provide excellent results with little or no bone grafting. The authors describe graftless methods to achieve successful implant results with minimal invasiveness and less treatment time.

While orthognathic surgery has long served as a successful way to treat dentofacial problems, the complexity of the procedure and unpleasant postoperative morbidity can make patients cringe. In our second CE article, the authors discuss the concept of minimally invasive orthognathic surgery (MIOS), which utilizes modifications of traditional procedures in the maxilla, mandible, and chin. The article explains the differences between MIOS and conventional treatments and shows its benefits of not only less morbidity but also improved esthetics.

To be clear, minimally invasive dentistry is not a trend. Rather, it is an ongoing endeavor by dental professionals everywhere to provide patients the best treatment possible with as little disruption as possible.


Markus B. Blatz, DMD, PhD

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