The Scope of the Implant Complications Problem
In May, 400+ clinicians attended Straumann's day-long Dental Implant Complications symposium. Topics discussed including identifying and addressing implant complications, understanding the reasons they occur, determining treatment and solutions, and understanding how to avoid them through prevention methodologies such as proper planning, patient selection and timely treatment. Here are some highlights from one of the six presentations.
?You will leave here today knowing how to capably avoid, diagnose, treatment plan, and manage implant complications.?
That was Dr. Williams? promise as he kicked off the day?s program as the first speaker. Dr. Williams presented an enlightening overview of how and why dental implant complications are occurring more and more frequently, despite advances in implant design and the sophistication of treatment planning, placement, and restorative technologies.
After noting that the topic of implant complications and failures is taking up an ever-increasing amount of real estate in dental meeting programs, Dr. Williams noted five reasons for the actual increase in frequency of complications during every stage of implant therapy.
1. The sheer numbers?the total number of dental implants placed has grown exponentially over the past decade.
2. Diversity of clinicians?initially, only oral surgeons were placing implants, then the periodontists joined the fray. Now a healthy percentage of general dentists are placing implants as well as restoring them. Regardless of discipline, the dentists now placing and restoring implants represent a wide range of training and experience.
3. Few (but growing) formal opportunities for training?many dentists receive training over a weekend from implant company reps. And the dental schools need to step up and include implant training in their curricula.
4. Envelope-pushing therapy?treatment planning has evolved from two implants in the mandible to much more aggressive and complex protocol in terms of placement and loading.
5. Rose-colored glasses?virtually all implant educational initiatives currently available spotlight implant success in both case presentation and general discussion. There is very little information available on poor outcomes.