Implants and the spirit of inventiveness

Columns , Current Issue

I’ve been placing and restoring implants in my practice for more than 22 years and have been teaching implant techniques to colleagues for 17 years. During that time, every aspect of implant treatment has evolved and dramatically improved.

In my mind, the most significant development has been the use of 3D imaging for diagnosis and treatment planning. To name just a few benefits, CBCT scans enable us to precisely assess bone quality, determine the orientation of the implant to accommodate planned restorations, and virtually eliminate the risk of complications, such as nerve damage and sinus penetration, by taking the guesswork out of implant size selection. In 2018, 3D imaging is unquestionably the standard of care for the implant dentistry. I can’t imagine practicing without it.

Cone beam is just one component of implant treatment’s digital workflow. Combined with intraoral scanning, we can now create virtual models from which surgical guides can be made. Again, we’re removing the guesswork from the placement procedure.

Bone grafting is another important aspect of implantology that I concentrate on in my courses. From innovative delivery modes to advanced chemistry and manufacturing, available systems for regenerating bone have made treatment a possibility for individuals who previously could not have supported an implant restoration.

And of course, implants themselves are constantly changing as new design elements are discovered — a trend that’s been covered closely in the pages of Implant Practice US. Narrow diameters and short heights, innovative tapers and angles, and integration-promoting coatings and threading are just some of the advances that have increased the rates of clinical success.

I work closely with researchers and manufacturers, and I can assure you that this spirit of inventiveness will continue. The goal: to simplify treatment, enhance predictability, and make implants an option for any patient.

I am proud to introduce the 2018 summer issue of Implant Practice US, and I encourage you to check out this month’s featured articles. Whether you already place implants (you should be), are planning to, or simply restore them, you’ll find invaluable information on the latest technologies and techniques.