It provides high-resolution, 3-D imagery in about 30 seconds, using very low radiation levels in a very limited field
of view—that is, the area under assessment can be limited to
just a few teeth instead of the entire mouth.
Thomas Schneider: CBCT has revolutionized periodontal
therapy, especially when it comes to dental implants. We
can now get instant, super-high-resolution images of the
patient’s facial structures, especially critical anatomy like
the underlying bone, sinus cavities and neurovascular canals.
And we can use the technology to perform virtual surgery
before even touching the patient, which ensures a more predictable outcome.
Ilya Lipkin: CBCT lets us see the true anatomical structure of
the mouth, whereas 2-D X-rays give us only a distorted projection of 3-D structures on 2-D film. I also like the i Tero scanner; it gives a digital impression of the teeth, so dental molds
are becoming history. And new ways to speed up orthodontic
treatments, like AcceleDent, Propel, and Wilckodontics, allow
patients to be done with braces in three to six months.
What are some of the other important technical
Joseph Banker: Computer-aided dentistry and computer-aided-manufacturing technology (CAD/CAM) enables us to
make restorations like crowns, onlays and veneers without
impressions. The technology uses a laser scanner to create a
virtual model so we can make restorations the same day—no
more temporary crowns that take two visits.
Manaf Saker: Bioengineering allows for the production of
proteins that can guide tissue regeneration, such as bone
construction, for patients seeking implant placement. It’s
allowed me to cut treatment time for some complex reconstruction implant cases from a year to a few months, and
sometimes even a few weeks.
What’s the most important thing a dentist can
do to ease patients’ fears?
RSM: Most people who come to see me for the first time
present with a combination of pain and anxiety. Confident,
warm and empathetic communication is key to making a
patient feel safe.
JB: It’s essential to spend the time necessary to help patients
understand their treatment options. After an examination, I explain my findings and we decide together on the best treatment.
TS: The most important thing a dentist can do is listen to
patients’ concerns and determine the cause. It might be the
sight of the instruments or the sounds or smells associated
with dentistry. And a fair number of patients complain about
the needle—the pain of a local anesthetic injection. But with
today’s advanced technology, tools like DentalVibe and Onset
[a special buffer that changes the pH of the injection solu-tion] allow dentists to routinely deliver pain-free injections.
MS: The general environment of a practice can influence a
patient’s apprehension and anxiety in so many ways. The
delivery of care today is no longer predicated only on the
individual dentist, but on a dental team. So it’s extremely
important that the entire team be educated about the various
Dr. Christina Mazzone
Offices: Warren and Chester
Solo practitioner; in practice 8 years.
FAVORITE PURSUITS AFTER HOURS
“I’ve been practicing
yoga for a long time, and
after a few years I decided
to get certified to teach
it. This past year I
also became certified
as a holistic