Use Technology, But Don’t Check Your Brain At The Door

Paul Feuerstein, DMD Editor-in-Chief


Despite all of the technology we see being used in many of our procedures, some require basic manual, visual, and mental skills. Single-tooth restorations, oral hygiene, and diagnosis are all based on scenarios that also require our knowledge base. Much of this leads to conversations with our patients, which can easily be explained with basic show-and-tell, a written list of instructions, or even, heaven forbid, a simple pencil drawing.

In our front-of-book columns, technology takes a back seat as Drs. Steven Kupferman and Jay Lee examine the perils of osteonecrosis. At the same time, Shannon Nanne, RDH, notes some simple observations we can do with our eyes and senses about early detection of oral cancer. Dr. Reid Pullen gives us part 1 of basic endodontic protocols with a step-by-step, very understandable process while Dr. Mauricio U. Watanabe shows a method of creating more extensive composite restorations, perhaps instead of crowns, that is enabled by merely altering the properties of the materials by heating them.

Back to the technology, Drs. Sean Meitner and Greg Kurtzman simplify an anterior implant restoration case, while Dr. Angel-Orion Salgado-Peralvo and his coauthors show a unique material that he uses to create a full upper arch implant-borne prosthesis.

Finally, the maximum use of technology blended with chairside skills is demonstrated by the 2 practitioners on our cover. Dr. Michael Scherer shows an easy-to-follow protocol for digitally planning overdentures with locators but stresses the clinical skills needed to finish the case in the patients’ mouths. And Dr. Melissa Shotell shows us how orthodontics is a blend of digital planning and appliance fabrication using both outside and in-office processes.

I hope you enjoy this panorama of dental information.