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Crossroads and crosswords

July 21, 2018

When we switched from one dental software program to another, there were times when I wished I had “Shazam” for my brain. If you're not familiar, it’s the phone app that immediately recognizes and identifies songs. In my version: “If only I could just press on my nose, and the word I’m looking for would pop up.” … But at least I could take solace in the fact that even those in the office who were familiar with the new program had plenty to learn from an updated version.

Cultural-competency lessons from dueling ‘Lady Liberties’ and candy-preference data

June 22, 2018

Our office has, in its staff room, what I like to call the “temptation table.” During the holidays, it is usually chock-a-block with sugar-laden treats. Some are gifts from grateful patients, some are from local specialists, and some are just a coworker’s leftover Halloween candy. There was a day this past season when a dental assistant brought in a bag of Sour Patch Kids. I stared at the bag thinking, “Who eats these?”

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Changes in ABO certification: A scenario-based format

May 6, 2018

With the combination of: (a) external challenges and changes in the certification process by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO); (b) internal changes in almost every orthodontic office as a result of computerization; (c) confrontation from the government with HIPAA and OSHA requirements and limitations; and (d) the need for better time/motion efficiency to address improved delivery of orthodontic services, the forces for change combine to be far stronger than the forces for maintaining the status quo.

A revolutionary paradigm shift in dynamic surgical navigation

February 28, 2018

A revolution in surgical guidance is afoot. A new dynamic navigation technology called “Trace and Place” (TaP for short), was developed by ClaroNav and will soon become available with its Navident system. I have had the opportunity to try the technology in a range of cases, and I am very impressed. Here’s a brief description of my experience.

Using PEEK frameworks for full arch implant supported prosthetics

February 15, 2018

There is increased interest in the long term clinical outcomes and quality of life of patients treated with a high performance polymer for the framework material for full-arch implant-supported dental prosthetics, rather than the traditionally used metal or ceramic materials.

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‘Growing Enamel’ — Revisited

January 8, 2018

One of the dental field’s biggest esthetic priorities, after restoring and preserving health, is enhancing the smile. In 1995, Dentistry Today published an article I wrote about a technique I developed, which I called “Growing Enamel.” The phrase is erroneous, of course, because, after enamel is formed, it does not grow. But this technique creates an image of it doing so. In the years since the article was published, the concept has been copied in articles and books on cosmetic treatment techniques without reference or recognition. However, imitation or replication is a great form of flattery.

Functional and esthetic overdentures

January 5, 2018

The removable denture may seem an outdated rehabilitation. However, it is the foundation on which all prosthetic procedures are based; therefore, it is imperative to know it and to follow its constructive steps when restoring the patient’s oral cavity to obtain an esthetic result not only of the smile but of the whole face.

Rethinking provisionals: The many advantages of premade custom temporaries

December 29, 2017

As a partner and clinical director of a large private group practice, I often speak of modern dentistry’s esthetic possibilities. Our practice highly prioritizes working with committed laboratories, using quality materials and focusing on predictable processes. BioTemps Provisionals consistently help our doctors materialize the esthetic vision we create for our patients.

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PRF brings new challenges to the dental office

December 13, 2017

Platelet-rich fibrin can play an important role in oral and maxillofacial surgery, implant dentistry, periodontal regeneration and post-extraction site preservation. The fibrin is a reservoir of platelets that will slowly release growth factors and cytokines, which are the key factors for regeneration of the bone and maturation of the soft tissue. Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is an autologous platelet concentrate prepared from the patient’s own blood at the dentist’s office just before the oral/dental procedure.

Dentists who are converting extracted teeth into bone graft report outstanding long-term results

October 24, 2017

As more and more dentists are using the Smart Dentin Grinder protocol to convert extracted teeth into autologous graft, it is becoming obvious that the procedure offers the predictability they seek. This simple 15-minute procedure takes the extracted teeth through a special chairside device that crushes them into a consistent particulate size and then applies a cleansing process which results in plenty of dentin graft in putty form that can be placed right back into the site.

Changing the understanding of the very nature of implant healing

October 16, 2017

Dr. Nelson Pinto presented “Guidelines for the Use of Autologous Platelet Concentrate Technologies in Tissue Regeneration: L-PRF Workshop” during the 2017 AAID meeting in San Francisco. Pinto is the founder and chairman of the Research Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine in Concepcion, Chile, where for the past 30 years, he has maintained an active private practice specializing in advanced oral implantology.

‘The Last Flossing’

August 7, 2017

I came across Ed Sorel’s illustration “The Last Flossing” in a round-about way. Sorel is one of those artists whose work might be immediately familiar to you from popular magazines, but his name likely isn’t. Such is the fate of illustrators. Their hand-colored drawings are usually just an adjunct to a nationally syndicated story — unless, of course, the artist has been at it for about six decades and is considered an institution.

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Hard-tissue laser systems: Is the future now?

July 31, 2017

A greater number of dentists may soon be ready to start using hard-tissue lasers in the preparation of teeth and reshaping of bone. The technology promises to be more precise, lead to more esthetic results and, hopefully, be more economical as well. Restoring the natural dentition has been one of the cornerstones of dentistry. Historically, GV Black was the first to use hand chisels to shape his design preparation for restorations.

True governance and the value of health diplomacy

June 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA: I was recently in Washington, D.C., to hear a National Institutes of Health lecturer speak about the direction and future of global public health. When planning my weekend sightseeing, I wanted to include both classical architecture and structures with new vision. With that in mind, my first stop was a historic Smithsonian building and next was the ultra modern Newseum (www.newseum.org).

Demanding more from your sectional matrix system

March 2, 2017

There are many challenges to restoring a tooth to its natural shape, contour and shade using a direct composite technique. Advances in composite restorative material and adhesion have enabled today’s dentist to control most of the esthetic variables that result in restoring a tooth close to its original state. However, there is still the matter of a properly established proximal contact.

CleanCut extended diamond burs: Truly a diamond in the rough

February 26, 2017

Precision is the hallmark of prosthodontics. Careful thought and consideration must be given to the impact of occlusion, esthetics, the type of restoration and the amount and location of tooth reduction. Models and mock-ups are frequently used before the tooth is even prepared. While planning is essential to the success of the case, it is the precision of the preparation that will provide the best foundation from which your lab can build the perfect restoration.

Wanted: A universal composite restorative material with truly universal applications

February 22, 2017

While the demand for esthetically pleasing composite restorations that also mimic the natural dentition is rising, there is a similar growth in the desire for a comprehensive, yet simple, system that will allow dentists of every skill level to deliver beautifully sculpted esthetic restorations regardless of their location in the mouth.

Anesthesia-free and drill-free deep decay removal

January 16, 2017

Applications and research on lasers in dentistry continue to expand, yet the Solea dental laser (Convergent Dental) is the first and currently the only laser system that can cut any tissue with a single setting. The one-setting-fits-all approach works for tooth structure, bone and soft tissue, enabling any dentist to reliably deliver anesthesia-free, blood-free, suture-free and pain-free results.

PAW’s ‘tatooth’: Buccal aspect adventure connects hygienist with lab tech

November 23, 2016

Just prior to his retirement, my boss decided it was time do some farewell dentistry on me. Poor old #18 had been patched and repatched for years. The tooth was in need of a crown. For decades, quick restorations were done. Spur-of-the-moment fillings were squeezed in between my hygiene duties. At one point, I was left alone — still-elevated and reclined — when the doctor and his assistant went off to see their next patient in an adjoining room.

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Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline linked to periodontal disease

November 21, 2016

Recent studies provide increasing evidence that untreated periodontal inflammation is linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, and that treating periodontitis may reduce or delay risk of this disease. About one out of every nine Americans have some form of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. It is the worst type of dementia, involving the most cognitive decline and memory loss.

Interview: ‘The immense variability of human tooth anatomy’

November 20, 2016

With his high-definition photography of complex root canal systems, Dr. Craig Barrington, who practices dentistry in Waxahachie, Texas, is developing quite a name for himself. Just check out his presence on Facebook, at craiggbarringtondds. In an interview with Endo Tribune, Barrington talks about how he captures these high-definition endodontic images and how he uses them to increase his knowledge and help improve the level of care he provides to his patients.

Q&A: How to improve implant stability

November 3, 2016

SAN DIEGO, Calif., USA: At the American Academy of Periodontology’s annual meeting in September, Dental Tribune had the opportunity to interview Osstell President and CEO Jonas Ehinger. Ehinger explains how Osstell’s technology helps clinicians determine when to load an implant.

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For dentists, the era of advanced degrees (Part 1)

October 12, 2016

Today, it is more common than ever before for dentists to go back to school for advanced degrees. Why? Until the 1990s, most doctors were content to have only one advanced degree and never step foot in a school again. So why are so many individuals going back to school for advanced degrees, and is advanced education really worth the effort?

Telling the whole tooth: Not all the pundits got the flossing story quite right

October 10, 2016

Edith Wharton was the first woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in fiction. “The House of Mirth” was written while she was residing in Paris. Her beloved home in Lenox, Mass., which she helped to design, is one of the lesser-known tourist attractions in New England. The formal grounds are as lovely as a Paris park; the gardens rival those of the stately Belle Époque mansions in Newport, R.I.

Non-surgical laser has sleep applications

October 10, 2016

Of the commercially available hard- and soft-tissue lasers, only the LightWalker (Fotona, San Clemente, Calif.) combines two proven wavelengths, Nd:YAG and Er:YAG, with unrivaled power and precise pulse control resulting in high levels of efficacy for a wide range of procedures. With this advanced level of performance comes significant patient comfort.

Comparing graft techniques for the alveolar ridge prior to implant

September 9, 2016

Regeneration of bone tissue could greatly benefit people with jawbone deficiencies due to tooth loss, infection or trauma. While an ideal method of bone-tissue engineering is not yet available, research with a collagen-hydroxyapatite-Mesenchymal stem cell composite is showing promise. Hydroxyapatite is the main component of bone mineral and tooth enamel.

Improve your leadership skills today

September 6, 2016

Running a successful dental practice calls on not just your expertise in dentistry but also on your leadership abilities. Being an effective leader will help you focus your staff and your partners on creating and maintaining the kind of dental practice that you can be proud of. The following eight areas of focus can help practice owners and other dental professionals develop and strengthen leadership skills:

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Historical overview of orthodontic education, from the beginning up to the 21st century (Part 4)

August 16, 2016

In 2002, 300 full-time faculty positions were unfilled, and an additional 200 to 600 new faculty members would be needed every year thereafter (Trotman, Bennett, Scheffler and Tulloch, 2002). The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Association of Orthodontists established task forces to study this shortage, which they declared was at a crisis level and that academe was no longer an attractive career option (Trotman et al., 2002; Peck, 2003).

Upper and lower dentures on Rhein83 components

August 5, 2016

In this clinical case are illustrated in a very schematic way some stages of the realization of an upper and lower overdenture on eight implants, four on the upper and four on the lower jaw (Fig. 1). This solution will provide greater stability to the prosthesis during the phonation and the chewing functions, allowing the patient to relate in their social sphere with safety and confidence.

Central details: Smile renewed with esthetic Obsidian crown

August 1, 2016

In the anterior region where esthetics are paramount, certain complications can preclude the use of all-ceramic material. The task then becomes finding a material worthy of the anterior with the durability to meet precise standards. Obsidian Lithium Silicate Ceramic Pressed to Metal (Prismatik Dentalcraft Inc.; Irvine, Calif.) puts an innovative spin on PFMs, with traditional porcelain passed over for lithium silicate ceramic.

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