GNYDM 2011 - Panelists help solve dental controversies

November 30, 2011

Debating various treatment plans, materials and approaches, a panel of four dentists helped answer participants' questions during the Nov. 29, morning CE session at the 87th annual Greater New York Dental Meeting titled "Controversies in Dentistry."

Debating various treatment plans, materials and approaches, a panel of four dentists helped answer participants' questions during the Nov. 29, morning CE session at the 87th annual Greater New York Dental Meeting titled "Controversies in Dentistry."

Moderated by Dr. Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, the panel consisted of Drs. Jonathan Levine, DMD, Robert Weller DDS, and George Shelby, DDS. The experienced prosthodontist fielded the audiences' range of questions about which materials to use for particular situations and discussed the merits of many products as well.

"You are the panel," Christensen said, in opening the discussion.

One question was how do you amend a treatment program for the average blue collar patient when the cost of the treatment might equal the family's entire income ($50,000) for a year?

Consider restoring a mandibular arch with just two implants instead of an entire set of dentures, suggested Shelby. "It helps the patient tremendously. It really can change a patient's life."

Or, a small diameter implant lasts just five years, but costs less, added Christensen.

Another question was: how is post selection determined?

The best post is no post, said Shelby. "You don't need posts for every endodontic treatment. Just determine how much stress is placed on the tooth." Opt for "passive posting."

And the merits of screwed implants versus cemented implants were discussed.

In the late '80s and early '90s, almost every implant was screwed in, said Levine. Then, esthetics started to dominate and cemented implants took over dominance. 

Cemented implants prove more adequate, but there's an advantage in being able to take off a screwed in implant, added Christensen.