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This morning I took Tampa Road from my office in Palm Harbor, to meet a friend for lunch, and I was struck by how much has changed along that roadway. I remember most of the area between Tampa and Palm Harbor being filled with cypress domes and swampland. On my way back to the office, I got to thinking how my work, and dental implants specifically, have changed as well. I remember when implant dentistry required that I place the dental implants where the bone was. Now, with the many improvements in augmentation, like guided bone regeneration, tooth implantation can be done where it looks best, and patients can have happy chompers and a bright smile!
Besides these aesthetic improvements, the use and popularity of dental implants have increased 18% each year in the US. My own practice in Palm Harbor and the greater Tampa Bay area confirms this rising trend for dental implant surgery. To meet the rising demand requires the latest improvements in technology, especially computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. Three-dimensional imaging has become the foundation of the treatment plan. I’ve also found that patients really like being able to see the images, and understand what’s going to happen and how the images help the success of both the surgery and the final prosthetic outcome.
I think what has changed the most about dental implant surgery, at least for me, is the patient’s willingness to recognize the value in this sort of surgery. It really is like getting a whole new lease on your teeth. Many of my patients have suffered injury to their mouth, and thirty years ago they would have had little option for repairing severe trauma. Dental implant surgery has changed all that.
Still, the technology alone is never enough. Besides the latest and greatest in tech, I know my real offering to the greater Tampa Bay area is twenty-five years of experience in general dentistry and over a dozen years working with dental implants. I’m sure a great deal will change in the next decade. I look forward to new improvements in dental implant technology and greater access to the procedure for those who really need it. And who knows, maybe Tampa road will get back some of those cypress domes!
(Statistics from Implant Dentistry – A Rapidly Evolving Practice, ISBN: 978-953-307-658-4; State-of-the-Art Technology in Implant Dentistry: CAD/CAM
By Ilser Turkyilmaz and Roxanna J. Nicoll)
When I think about the things that have revolutionized my dental practice, the GXCB-500 Cone Beam system immediately comes to mind. The ability to capture 3-D images in my office greatly improves the dental implant experience for both the dentist and the patient.
Dental Implants are a major focus of my dental practice, which is located in Palm Harbor, Tampa Bay area of Florida. Approximately 40% of my practice is dental implant related.
With the GXCB-500, a patient can receive a scan on the initial examination visit. In addition to the information that the CT scan provides, I do a health history review, a comprehensive oral / periodontal examination, traditional 2-D dental x-rays and digital photographs. All of this usually takes 45 minutes.
Prior to dental implant placement, without 3-D imaging, I had to discuss the various senarios that “could” arise, using information from less detailed 2-D x-rays. Patients appreciate that the GXCB-500 exposes them to less radiation than medical CT scans.
More information including current cost of dental implants and dental implants prices can be found on my website:
Paul L Caputo, DDS
For those not familiar with CBCT, this advanced diagnostic tool captures volumes or slices of information that are then assembled by software into 3-D views of the subject area. This allows the dentist to view the scanned area as a 3-D object. The area can be viewed from many different angles.
This aids in comprehensive dentistry. The dentist now has an advanced tool for diagnostic analysis and pre-surgical planning. the oral structures that dentists work with are three-dimensional, the new technology now allows the dentist to view and diagnose in the third dimension.
CBCT is a relatively new technology for dentists. It has revolutionized the way dentists gather and view information. The result is the ability to diagnose, plan and then treat in a manner that we could not even envision a few years ago.
Traditional 2-D radiographs are not obsolete, but the difference diagnosing from a two-dimensional radiograph to diagnosing from 3-D imaging, which allows for visualization of all structures from any given angle or plane is truly amazing. The CBCT has forever altered the way dentists practice dentistry. It has not replaced 2-D imaging, it supplements and complements it.