No rest for the restorative panel

Closing out the morning CE panels, “Cutting-Edge Restorative Options,” faced a high bar for clinical discussion and an antsy crowd, but no six participants could have handled the time slot better.

Moderator Dan Nathanson, DMD, MSD, opened the panel with a simple statement: “Innovation occurs in dentistry now, more than ever.”

Panelists Edward Swift, DDS, MS; Terry Donovan, DDS; Mark Latta, DMD, MS; and Lee Culp, CDT, added a variety of contours to that statement.

Dr. Swift challenged the concept that simpler is better when it comes to adhesives. After suggesting a simple organizational way of thinking about adhesives, he presented pros and cons, results from clinical studies at home and abroad, and offered his own “Consumer Reports-style” rating for the primary four options.

Dr. Latta spent time demystifying the mystique around nano materials. The bottom line: Today’s “nano” materials aren’t all that different from the microfills many clinicians already use. “Claims to be nano,” he said, “are more of a marketing spin than a scientific breakthrough.”

Dr. Donovan shocked the group by revealing that in spite of the popularity surrounding all-ceramic crowns, he is still a PFM guy. “It’s vastly different from what we were doing in the 1960s and ‘70s,” he said. “We now know so much more about prep design, building in color, textured opaque and more.”

Culp drew from his fellow panelists to look at the expanding role of CAD/CAM in restorative dentistry. He addressed the serious concern many lab technicians have about losing their jobs and their artistry to machines. “I challenge you to ask a photographer if he or she has lost the passion or artistry of photography after going digital,” he said. “They’ll tell you, ‘No,’ because digital offers them so many more options.” His most salient point, however, was the fact that no amount of hardware or software can replace the judgment that comes with a lifetime of experience.

The audience questions afterwards addressed needed follow-up in areas of polymerization, self-etching, and cementing zirconia crowns. Two especially memorable inquiries focused on the adoption of low-shrinkage vs. other materials and, surprisingly, co-moderator Dr. Alan Boghosian’s wine preferences.

Drs. Nicholas and James McNamara of Rathdrum, ID, regarding “Cutting Edge Restorative Options.”

~ by cwaring on May 15, 2008.

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