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The Road Map to Success for Implant Dentistry

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The Road Map to Success for Implant Dentistry

How could I lead my patients toward a successful treatment outcome when I was unsure of the treatment path myself?

map with three tacks along the route

During my initial phase of practicing implant dentistry, there were times when I felt like a tourist in my own practice—wandering around in a foreign land without a road map. Being a male, I would not ask for directions; I thought I could figure it out myself. Also, because it was a foreign land and I didn’t speak the language, what good would asking do?

Looking back at this point in my career, I can be honest and say that I did not enjoy implant dentistry. It was simply too much stress for me.

How could I lead my patients toward a successful treatment outcome when I was unsure of the treatment path myself?

While I knew that I had patients who required implants and patients who wanted implants, without having a clear road map and systems in place to provide successful implant treatment, I was unable to capitalize on this existing and lucrative practice need.

A key destination on my road map to implant dentistry was realizing the power of digital tools.

Converting a digital treatment plan into a precise reality can only be accomplished through the use of the latest technology—it doesn’t matter if the case involves one implant or a full-arch rehabilitation. There have been amazing advances over the past few years in 3D and CBCT imaging, digital impression-taking, bone regeneration materials, and 3D-printed surgical guides, which work together to direct us to the target with confidence and tight tolerances. Even implants themselves have transformed from simple metal screws into tiny powerhouses with surfaces and structures that mimic hard tissue and speed up the healing process significantly.

Although technology can often seem like the star of the show, meaningful communication with patients during the implant process is an important stop on the road map to success.

As clinicians, we think about the prosthetic vision and plan the implant appropriately. But uncertainty about the financial burden can be a significant roadblock for our patients. My implant case acceptance improves tremendously when I can inform the patient of their financial responsibility before the case starts, which allows them to budget for treatment.

By creating your own road map to successful implant dentistry, you will know the playing field early and be able to plan your attack with precision and, more importantly, with confidence.

Peter Gardell, DDS
Stamford, CT

A central focus of the January 2020 issue of Dental Product Shopper is on implant dentistry—the what and how. Gain an in-depth look at the innovative technologies available today that can help you accurately diagnose your patients’ needs and seamlessly plan your implant cases.

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