Proven winners

One of the hottest topics I talk about in my dental lectures is what’s new in dentistry. Dentists love new products and technologies.

Louis Malcmacher, DDS, MAGD

One of the hottest topics I talk about in my dental lectures is what’s new in dentistry. Dentists love new products and technologies. The biggest challenge with anything new is that there may not be any kind of long-term testing or experience that could tell us whether or not this product or technology would be successful in the long run.

We have all seen many new products come into dentistry, only to disappear in six months or less because they either rapidly failed clinically or they just weren’t marketable. In this column, I’ve brought you many new ideas and products in dentistry, but let’s take a step back. Let’s see what was new a couple of years ago, and see what withstood the test of time and is here to stay in dentistry.

1) Full zirconia crowns — While we don’t have 150 years’ worth of experience like we do to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, full zirconia crowns have been the fastest growing crowns in the history of dentistry. The biggest challenge with full zirconia has been esthetics, but this has been solved with such full zirconia crowns as Zir-Max (Burbank Dental Lab) and Opalite (Aurum Ceramics). We now have unrivaled strengths and beautiful translucency available in zirconia crowns. These advantages will continue, especially in the posterior regions of the mouth.

2) Injection comfort systems — These have finally made their way into dentistry. In my 30 years of dentistry, every few years another product came out that promised near painless injections, but they all failed to withstand the test of time. The DentalVibe Injection Comfort System is the first in the history of dentistry that has proven itself as a must-have to highly reduce or eliminate injection pain, which is still one of the top fears of patients.

3) Dental lasers — Lasers are now well proven in dentistry. The time has come for injection-free hard tissue and soft tissue dentistry with a laser such as the Iplus by Biolase. Lasers make dentistry faster and easier for dentists, with better treatment outcomes for patients, who love the fact that much of their dentistry is now injection-free. This will change the dental experience for patients forever!

4) Universal bulk-fill composite — Until the introduction of G-aenial by GC America, a truly universal bulk-fill composite that can be easily used in every class of restoration was missing in dentistry. Since its introduction a few years ago (of which many dentists were skeptical that a thick, flowable composite could restore large class II restorations), it has truly taken the dental industry by storm. Filling a cavity preparation with this bulk-fill universal composite greatly reduces the placement time of every restoration, and there is no additional expensive equipment needed. I have used a lot of composite resins in my day, and this has done an outstanding job in my office.

5) Botox and dermal fillers — These are now a mainstay in thousands of dental offices in North America and, indeed, around the world. Their dental esthetic and dental therapeutic uses grow every day. I see this happening before my eyes with the rapidly increasing membership of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, of which I am president, and the incredible discussions on the membership forum board of how dentists are now using these products for orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, esthetics, and facial pain management cases.

It’s always interesting to look forward and see what new and exciting things are coming to dentistry. It is equally rewarding to look back and see that some of the concepts and products that I’ve talked about for years have become part and parcel of dentistry. These are truly evidence-based as they have the necessary science and actual experience by thousands of dentists, and have withstood the test of time, where dentists have seen the evidence before their eyes in their daily treatment of patients.

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is a practicing general dentist and internationally known lecturer, author, and dental consultant. An evaluator emeritus for CLINICIANS REPORT, Dr. Malcmacher is the president of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics at facialesthetics.org. Contact him at (440) 892-1810 or email drlouis@FacialEsthetics.org. His website is www.commonsensedentistry.com, where you can sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter.

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