Dr. Eric M Block writes about how to stay productive, and attending Cortex Training Institute is one way to find new techniques to implement in your practice.
I have placed over 2,000 implants as a full-time practicing general dentist, and I must have used almost every system under the sun. Not to “toot my own horn,” but I am very comfortable just picking up a new system, reading the catalog, reviewing the surgical and prosthetic protocol, and letting it rip. However, that was not the case when I first started out. After my implant residency at Boston University, I was free-handing all of my implants and planning on mostly 2D images. Some cases kept me up at night thinking about the bone anatomy, fretting over vital structures such as the sinus or nerve position, or considering how I could achieve the optimal implant positioning esthetically as well as ensure seamless and functioning future prosthetic results.
Fully guided implant surgery
When free-handing implant surgery, you hope that you have prepped your osteotomy and placed your implant in the best possible position for the future restoration. Fully guided surgery takes a lot of the “hope” out of the equation. In fact, this has been an absolute game changer for me and my team. With this technology, an implant placement or restoration is one of the least stressful procedures that I perform in my day-to-day practice. It is not uncommon for patients to be in and out of the chair in 30 to 40 minutes, sometimes less. They will say, “Wow, that was fast!” or, “Wow, that was so much easier than I expected!”
The learning never ends
I recently traveled to attend coursework at the Cortex Training Institute, just outside of Mexico City, Mexico. This state-of-the-art facility provides international live surgical training, using the latest in advanced digital-planning software. For these cases, we used Trios® with the future prosthetic in mind, and we placed Magix® implants fully guided on those same live patients within minutes just the very next day. No matter how skilled I become at performing (and teaching) guided surgery, I try to remain in “learning mode.” When it comes to digital dentistry, there are always new things to discover and that I can start implementing in my practice on Monday morning.
The more you do, the more you find
As you gain more experience with implants, you will also become more comfortable with treatment planning and removing the barriers that are preventing your patients from saying “yes.” Your patients trust you, and they want to stay in your office. If you have to refer out, they may not move forward with treatment. So, having a CBCT is a huge advantage. I also tend to seek out products and systems that can specifically help to reduce and avoid patient trauma, treatment complexity, and potential complications. This is especially helpful for those patients experiencing high anxiety or those with pre-existing medical conditions.
A shot of rejuvenation
I speak to a lot of dental professionals about avoiding the “hamster wheel” that ultimately leads to burnout. Burned-out dentists aren’t as efficient and as productive as they used to be. Like aloe vera to sunburn or like a shot of espresso when you are tired, so implant dentistry can be to your dental career. Too many times, dentists get stuck in the monotony of doing the same old thing over and over — for 40 years. This is a one-way ticket to burnout. Adding high-value procedures like implants will lift your energy, increase your production, and ultimately generate more revenue for your practice. When you add a new modality to your practice, it reinvigorates you, your staff, and your patients. Adding implants doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. In fact, with the proper training, you and your staff may find placing implants to be one of the most fun and rewarding parts of your daily practice. You will feel it, your staff will feel it, and your patients will appreciate it.
Dr. Eric M. Block
Besides ongoing training like at the Cortex Training Institute, it is essential to keep up with changing guidelines. Read about clinical considerations regarding CBCT in this CE. https://implantpracticeus.com/ce-articles/essential-guidelines-for-using-cbct-in-implant-dentistry-clinical-considerations-part-3/. Pass the 10 question quiz and get 2 CE credits!