Prosthodontic Update 2006

by Bruce Glazer, DDS

Over the last forty years the gold standard in dentistry has been the porcelain fused to metal restoration for single crowns and fixed prosthodontics. The majority of dentists have resisted working with other systems for a variety of reasons. The reason most cited was the need for over reduction of the tooth in order to accommodate the material ceramic. Zirconia has changed that paradigm. For those of us who attended dental school in the 60s and 70s the learning curve needed to understand the latest in ceramics is computer driven and the transition is difficult. CAD-CAM’s and virtual articulators are commonplace vocabulary today.

As if that is not enough to make us oldies shy away from the new ceramic systems, there are no less than four names in use for one system-Zircon, Zirconium, Zirconia and Zirconium Oxide. What are the differences, if any? I asked Dr. Jim Soltys, a prosthodontist teaching at the Eastman Dental Centre to pen an article to unravel the differences between systems. I appreciate his ability to separate the wheat from the chaff so that we will be able to choose the system best suited to our prosthodontic needs.

No less daunting today is the world of radiography and to that end there is an introduction to digital radiography by the inventor of the ClikRay Xray system, Dr. Harold Schmulenson. Harold is a remarkable dentist inventor who has been responsible for several aeronautical patents before focusing on dentistry, his chosen profession, to invent a special xray holder now used by Kodak in North America.

Obtaining quality articles to enhance our publication is my main focus as the editor of the prosthodontic section. I, like all of our editorial staff am constantly previewing the dental literature for noteworthy articles. Just as the line officers of study clubs are constantly on the look out for quality speakers, so too are the section editors of various journals seeking written articles by seasoned and newly discovered authors. Articles by known quality authors as well as original manuscripts are thus a top editorial priority. Many times Oral Health is the journal of choice for a beginning time attempt at publication. As stated in the September issue of Oral Health by Dr. Cory Seebach, the journey of authoring an article for any dental journal is a twisting sometimes overwhelming ride but the end result is uplifting; not only for the author but for the entire readership. Such, I believe, is the case of the article “The Rebite Technique” by Dr. Les Kalman.

In this issue my contributing editor Dr. Dwayne Karateew also is publishing. This is one of several articles Dwayne has written for Oral Health since joining the editorial board in 2003. Dwayne is a graduate of the combined periodontal and prosthodontic program at the University of Pennsylvania and practices both disciplines, concentrating on implant assisted dental rehabilitation and aesthetics. He is currently an invited lecturer to the University of British Columbia, University of Pennsylvania and to Columbia University. I greatly appreciate his input and look forward to many more years of editorial support from the West Coast as the job of creating a quality issue is getting more difficult with each passing year.

Severely resorbed mandibles also receive a spotlight in this issue with a unique approach to a difficult problem from Dr, Alan Kwong Hing. Alan’s truly innovative technique which offers an alternative to block grafting deserves consideration for the severely resorbed mandible.

Bruce Glazer is the prosthodontic editor of Oral Health. He is a specialist in prosthodontics, the past president of the Association of Prosthodontists of Ontario and the Toronto Crown and Bridge Study Club and is celebrating his 36th year as an associate in dentistry at the University of Toronto.