Implants for the General Practitioner

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 01/10/2013
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Implant dentistry is in the middle of a major shift from a specialty to a mainstream procedure, noted Dr. Thomas Yoon in his lecture at the Updates in Contemporary Dentistry meeting in Tampa, Florida, in December 2012. His lecture and live Q&A session covered implantology and the advantages it brings to a dental practice. 

Dr. Yoon passionately promoted the importance of ?SRP? when placing implants; SRP in this case stands for simplicity, reliability, and practicality. He said that the advances in implant dentistry over the last decade have made placing implants simpler for dentists.

Dr. Yoon began his lecture with a brief overview of how implants have grown in recent years. The Millennium Research Group states that in 2002, only 5% of general practitioners were placing implants. By 2005, 15 to 20% of general practitioners were placing them.

?Implant surgery is a lot easier to do now than it was before,? Dr. Yoon said. ?You don?t have to do it in an operating room; you can do it in your office with a local anesthesia.?

When studying a patient to see if he or she is a good candidate for dental implants, Dr. Yoon suggested there is one key question to ask: ?You look at any patient, and technically they can receive a dental implant,? he said. ?I tell every patient in my office, ?I can stick an implant anywhere; I can stick it in your chin if I want to.? But the question should be, ?Who can not and should not receive dental implants???

And it turns out there are a number of factors that can be red flags. Factors including bleeding disorders, uncontrolled diabetes, radiation treatment, and IV bisphosphonates are all reasons to avoid implant surgery on a patient. According to Dr. Yoon, in 95% of patients who are not good candidates for implants this is discovered after checking through their medical history.

Dr. Yoon attributed 3 major factors to the dental implant revolution: Advances in implant design, surface technology and the microgap have led to increases in implant reliability and success.

?Implant design has changed so vastly over the years that we have now worked the design down to a single, simple unit that is pretty muchused by almost all implant companies," said Dr. Yoon. "Surface technology has changed to allow more osseointegration. The microgap, in my opinion, is one of the most critical aspects for bone preservation allowing for a more reliable implant.?

Dr. Yoon also described implant dentistry as ?additive dentistry? - the act of performing a procedure that effectively increases the retention or lifespan of other tooth. Other ways of replacing teeth are described as ?subtractive dentistry,? effectively decreasing the retention or lifespan of other teeth that might otherwise be involved in an alternative treatment.  

Learning Implants

In an interview with Dental Learning, Dr. Yoon recommended Hiossen AIC Education Courses for learning the complete scope of implant dentistry. He said that Hiossen covers basic implant surgery, sinus surgery, guided bone regeneration, bone block graft, aesthetic prosthetics, and master courses.

?One of the unique features of this education is live surgery,? Dr. Yoon said. ?You bring one of your actual patients to a live surgery. There, you will be able to place an implant on your patient under the supervision of a  faculty member. They come to states all over the country, offering courses for beginners to experts.?

Dr. Yoon pointed out that more than 15,000 dentists across the world have completed the Hiossen AIC basic implant courses, and have incorporated implant surgery into their practice. Dr. Yoon also mentioned that over 2,000 dentists now complete Hiossen AIC every year, illustrating the rapid growth of implant dentistry.