Hands-On Courses: How They Can Help Improve Your Practice

While the traditional approach to continuing education—that is, a speaker presenting from a podium to a large group—is still valuable, there is something to be said about the experience gained when taking small/limited attendance continuing education programs. Hands-on courses give participants the chance to try out new skills or assist during a live procedure.

Nowhere is this more important than in implant programs. By participating in hands-on courses with limited attendance, dental professionals are better able to learn clinical protocols and techniques unique to implant planning and placement. This provides a more personalized experience than listening to someone speak in a lecture hall. Continue reading

Using CBCT to Present “Scary” Treatment Plans

Very few people like to visit the dentist. Now, imagine how much less they like visiting an oral surgeon. In the patient’s mind, surgery involves scalpels, anesthesia and recovery time—it’s far more involved than the biannual dental prophy. However, I’ve found when it comes to a “scary” treatment, such as an autogenous bone graft, using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) helps me calm the fears and address the concerns of my patients. Not only that, CBCT improves patient understanding of their treatment and can increase case acceptance.

Borrowing Bone “in the Neighborhood”

Let’s say that a patient is interested in implants. However, a CBCT scan, which lets me view the oral cavity in 3D from any angle, reveals there isn’t enough bone present. To proceed with treatment, an autogenous bone graft is necessary. When discussing bone grafts with patients, their response is typically: “Gosh, that sounds terrible; taking bone from one part of my body to another?!” However, as I’ve discussed previously, the accuracy of CBCT reveals possible donor sites within the same maxillofacial region. It’s almost like moving a puzzle piece from one area of the puzzle and snapping it in to another area to make it fit. I reassure the patient by explaining: “Actually, we’re going to borrow a little bit of your own bone while I’m ‘in the neighborhood’.” That sounds far better to a patient than informing them we’re going to go to their hip or leg to take bone. Continue reading

Friday Dental News Roundup

Happy Friday to all of our readers out there! We are starting off the week with three great dental news articles to kick off your weekend. First is an article about the shortage of dentists in Florida. Our second article gives tips on how to make Vine and Instagram videos effective for your practice’s marketing efforts. Our third article for the week gives insight on how 3D printing could revolutionize dental care in the future. Take a look at these great articles we have this week and let us know what you think. We would love to hear from you.

Dental deserts spread across Florida
According to the American Dental Association, communities across Florida have some of the most severe shortages of dentists in the country. Florida has an average of one dentist for every 1,874 residents, but in some counties there is just one dentist for every 3,540 people. The problem with dental coverage has become such a problem that every 15-seconds someone goes to a hospital emergency room for mouth pain. Continue reading

The Value of CBCT in Autogenous Bone Grafting

When placing implants, I try to answers the questions of “how many,” “where” and “what size.” When asking “where,” bone volume plays a huge role. If I find bone deficiencies or inadequacies at the implant site, the treatment plan can go from very basic to very involved, as an autogenous bone graft may be necessary. Fortunately, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) lets me view multiple planes in 3D. It not only reveals if there is a need to regenerate or augment bone, but also helps me identify possible donor sites for a bone graft.

The “Gold Standard”

Of course, there are is a cache of treatment options—autogenous, bone substitutes, ridge splitting, guided bone regeneration, block grafting, tissue engineering, mesh, etc—but for an oral surgeon the gold standard is the autogenous bone graft. A bone graft can stabilize the jaw, correct deformities and preserve the jaw in preparation for the next step of treatment, i.e., the implant. Continue reading

Friday Dental News Roundup

Happy Friday roundup readers, and welcome to our first installment of the roundup for September! Take a minute and let us know what you think about these articles and share any you may have found yourself. We would love to hear from you!

Use Original Images To Promote Your Practice
While stock photos may be more cost effective, there is nothing more engaging for your patients than showing your practice’s personality with real-life photos of you and your practice family. Therefore, photographer Bob Thompson has five pointers for building your brand and your dental practice with authentic images. These steps include visually introducing your staff on your website and using camera phones to inspire consumer confidence. Continue reading

The New Endodontics

Classically, the “endodontic triad” for successful treatment outcomes has represented the cornerstone of masterful endodontics. Nothing’s changed; only the methods.

Specifically the triad refers to 1) cleaning (or debridement); shaping (which facilitates cleaning and creates a receptacle for predictable three-dimensional root canal system obturation); and 3) oburation.

The endodontic practitioner of the future is a clinician, scholar, manager, communicator, collaborator and advocate. But the overwhelming goal is to begin to take advantage of the latest technologies and timeless endodontic biologic principles. Continue reading