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June 2024
Volume 45, Issue 6

Tooth Saviors

Much has been made in recent years about the exploits of dental implants. Indeed, the upcoming July/August issue of Compendium will once again be our annual thematic issue dedicated to implantology. This arena of dentistry has seen advancements galore and is worthy of the considerable attention it garners in the dental media. Implants can be a "game changer" for patients in the right circumstances.

That said, implants represent a way to replace missing teeth. The specialty of endodontics, on the other hand, is centered on the preservation of the natural dentition. While implants get the accolades, endodontics is that branch of dentistry that toils down in the trenches, treating diseases and injuries of the dental pulp and periradicular tissues, attempting to relieve the pain and salvage the tooth. This issue of Compendium is devoted to endodontics.

Like implant dentistry, endodontics, too, has benefited from numerous advancements in technology. From CBCT imaging to microscopy innovations to bioceramic materials, new developments are helping clinicians more accurately diagnose and locate pathology and provide successful treatment. Success rates in endodontics are comparable to those of implants, with fewer complications likely with a natural tooth versus a foreign device.

In our first continuing education (CE) article, we discuss factors, both preoperative and treatment-related, that influence the outcomes of endodontic therapies and the importance of considering these factors. Knowing these variables can substantially impact the clinician's treatment planning. Our second CE article reviews the diagnosis and management of odontogenic sinusitis with an emphasis on CBCT imaging as part of the interdisciplinary diagnostic workup.

Everyone knows the words "root canal" conjure up thoughts of pain and anguish in most dental patients. This is one reason, although certainly not the only reason, why we review vital pulp therapy (VPT) in this issue. A promising development in dentistry and potential alternative to root canal therapy, VPT is aimed at preserving the longevity of vital mature pulp and helping stave off more invasive treatments. Other clinical topics in this special issue include treatment planning and modalities for cracked teeth and the importance of incidental CBCT findings.

Endodontics may not be the most glamorous dental specialty, but it is often the one that "saves the day"-or at least saves the tooth. And helping patients keep their teeth as long as possible should always be our primary goal. Please enjoy this special edition of Compendium.


Markus B. Blatz,  DMD, PhD,

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