As dental implants replace conventional fixed and removable prosthetics as the primary mode of therapy to restore edentulous areas, many challenges often lie in the transition from disease control to the final restoration. This transition must not only be therapeutic, but also practical and cost-effective, and meet the emotional, social, and functional needs of every patient. Ideally, transitional restorations should fulfill multiple purposes: surgical guide, tissue management, and functional intermediary, while giving the patient and dentist an evaluation period to satisfy esthetic, phonetic, and occlusal concerns. This lecture explores some of these challenges in an interdisciplinary environment through practical case examples that offer solutions to enhance and support implant therapy and its accompanying tissue engineering.
Henry I. Nichols, DDS, maintains a private practice focusing on complex restorative dentistry, an emphasis he chose following completion of a 3-year advanced training program in restorative dentistry at the University of Washington in 1995. He is a contributing author of Interdisciplinary Treatment Planning (Quintessence, 2008) and serves as a restorative advisor for the Olympic Peninsula Study Club and Great Blue Heron Seminars. Dr Nichols also lectures both nationally and internationally on treatment planning for long-term efficacy.