Lasers have been used in dentistry for approximately two decades and are suitable for multiple procedures, including soft tissue treatment. Lasers for soft tissue treatments are available at varying powers and wavelengths and can be used for procedures that would otherwise be performed using electrosurgery or a scalpel.
Patient demand for dental restorations with a natural esthetic has increased considerably over the past few decades. This is partially due to greater interest in and awareness of cosmetic dentistry. For many years, clinicians used PFM crowns and bridges to provide patients with durable, long-lasting restorations that offered reasonable esthetics. However, although still a popular option, the opacity of the PFM materials cannot always satisfy esthetic demands.
Cement-retained implant restorations are extremely popular, because they offer a predictable treatment outcome for patients whose teeth are failing or have already been removed. Compared to screw-retained implant restorations, cement-retained implants provide the ideal occlusal form and are a more cost-effective treatment choice for the patient.
Dental implant treatment is an increasingly popular solution for replacing missing teeth. As a result, more clinicians are dedicating time and resources to training in the most advanced techniques and investing in up-to-date technology.
- Hawley retainers are a popular option for patients to wear following the completion of orthodontic treatment. The basic design of a Hawley retainer includes a labial bow fitted from cuspid to cuspid that retains the position of the anterior teeth.
Although dental implants are an increasingly popular treatment for restoring dentition in completely edentulous patients, not everyone desires or is suitable for this procedure. Conventional dentures still provide a predictable treatment outcome or may be required to help patients transition from dentures to implant-retained prostheses.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFMs) have been successfully used for many years, providing clinicians with reliable, esthetically pleasing, and long-lasting restorations. However, over the past few years, an increasing number of clinicians are choosing zirconia restorations. The number of PFM crowns requested by clinicians is lower compared with all-ceramic and zirconia restorations. Some dentists use zirconia or all-ceramic restorations almost exclusively, particularly when restoring only a single unit. The switch from one material to another has been relatively quick, so there is little long-term research into the reliability of zirconia restorations. By comparison, PFMs have been used successfully for over 60 years, and their durability has been extensively evaluated.
Implant-supported restorations are either screw-retained or cement-retained. While screw-retained restorations offer easier retrievability, the screw access hole can affect esthetics. Additional problems with screw-retained restorations include screw loosening and issues with achieving a passive fit. In comparison, cement-retained restorations are generally less expensive, as they require fewer components and less chair-side time.
Despite improved dental care over the past few decades, edentulism is still common among elderly patients. Complete edentulism, which is often a consequence of caries, poor oral hygiene, and periodontal disease, has a detrimental effect on the patient’s oral and general health and overall sense of well-being.