Influencers/KOLs Special Section

In our Special Section, influencers discuss the changes and trends that they see in the field of implants.

Edward Goldin, DDS

Tell us a little about your background.

I have been on the faculty at New York University (NYU) postgraduate prosthodontics program for 12 years and am trained in prosthodontics and implant surgery. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and did my postgraduate prosthodontics training and implant fellowship at NYU. My family practice was started by my grandfather in the 1930s. My father continued in the 1960s, and I joined in 2000. Now my daughter, a senior in high school, is talking about studying dentistry. She would be fourth generation!

How does someone achieve the status of key opinion leader/influencer?

First, you really have to love what you’re doing. When you go into the office every day looking forward to the next case, I think it brings you to a level where you can create excitement in other people. Influencers should be able to talk about their subject in a way that makes others excited about it as well. I teach residents at NYU.  I see their cases as challenges and puzzles to solve. They see my enthusiasm when I get to treatment plan a new case.

You must have many choices of implant brands. Why have you chosen Ditron Dental implants as your implants of choice?

For me to consider switching, the implant must be not only less expensive than what I am currently using, but also better quality. I also look for a track record of successful osseointegration. I like implants with a simple connection. The implant should have many prosthetic options like angulated abutments, straight abutments, overdenture, or fixed components.

What features of Ditron Dental implants do you consider most valuable?

Placing as many immediate-load and full-arch immediate-load implants as I do, primary stability is critical. For example, when I extract a fractured tooth, I want to do immediate implant placement and immediate provisionalization. The Ditron implant’s aggressive threads ensure that I will have good primary stability even when I place it into an extraction socket. Also, the implant’s geometry provides a uniform dental implant-to-bone contact. I need to be confident that implants are going to be able to be loaded at the time of placement.

Ditron implants have a simple and reliable internal hex connection. There is one 2.45 mm dental implant-abutment internal hexagon connection for all diameters. Ditron’s research found that platform-switching achieved with the implant-abutment connection prevents coronal bone resorption and promotes soft-tissue growth.

The components fit together really tightly, preventing microleakage. Ditron calls that “MolecuLock™ biomechanical dental implant-abutment seal.” It was designed to reduce microgaps to less than 0.5 microns — too narrow for bacteria to penetrate.

Also, the aggressive thread design, called Double Stressless Sharp Thread (DSST), preserves the vascularity of the osteotomy and maintains the peri-implant marginal bone and soft tissue.

What advice do you have on how to keep current on the trends and changes in this rapidly evolving dental sector?

Keep up with the current journals and monitoring social media is an important part of staying current. Teaching at NYU and being involved with the residents helps me to learn. When they bring me information, it forces me to research and find out more. I recently heard about new stackable guides — some technologies didn’t even exist 5 years ago.

I also am on the clinic floor treating patients with the residents. So every student’s experience with me is different because we focus on a particular patient’s treatment. Today I treatment-planned a full-mouth implant case. Another patient had a congenitally missing tooth, and another needed dentures. The hope is that over the 3 years, each student will learn how to approach all of those types of cases — that is the goal of the prosthodontics residency.

To Learn More

To learn more about Ditron Dental USA, schedule your virtual meeting today by visiting:

Dr. Robert W. Emery

How do you relieve the stress of a busy practice/speaking schedule?

The key is enjoying what you’re doing — whether it’s speaking, running a business, a dental practice, or a medical device company. I am a partner and team member in a group of really great people. The key to reducing stress is forming a good group of people, respecting their thoughts, learning from them, and problem-solving as a group.

What is a fun fact about you?

My family is the most fun thing about my life. I always wanted children. I was married for more than 30 years. Then my wonderful wife passed away. I have since remarried, and now have two children. It’s loads of fun and also one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. Anyone who has kids understands that. At my age, having a 6-month-old and a 22-month-old makes life exciting again.

How does someone achieve the title of KOL/influencer?

First, you have to be able to be comfortable taking a risk. Second, you have to be comfortable socioeconomically. That does not mean you need to be wealthy. You need to be comfortable that your business is not going to be financially destroyed by your decisions. Third, you must believe in your message. For example, I believe in X-Nav, DTX Studio™, and the software programs that I work with, and the people I work with. So, they are really easy to talk about. You also need to be evidence-based and comfortable with the literature. I read extensively. And I am critical of my own decisions. I compare current and past literature, and if it all balances with my own decisions, then it’s easy to share that.

How does someone build/keep credibility in a world of many opinions?

You have to be evidence-based and outcome-based. If the literature is consistent and supports your message, that is key to credibility. Also, be willing to admit if something is wrong. Do your own research. Look at the questions and the clinical problems to solve those problems. Some of the best KOLs consistently do quality research or write quality articles that are based on the science. You also need to be a good teacher.

How do you keep current on the trends and changes in this rapidly evolving dental sector?

Prior to COVID, I enjoyed going to meetings. I talked to people whom I respected and then walked around to vendors. New ideas are hidden away at meetings in areas where not many people are paying attention. Read some of the less prominent articles in the literature and abstracts. I read science magazines that are unrelated to dentistry. I look at the trends. Right now, augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are big deals. I try to relate concepts to what I am seeing in dental literature.

What do you think will be the most exciting development in the future of implants in the next 5 years? The next 20 years?

In the next 5 years, AR and AI are going to affect dentistry. I look at some of the software already written by Nobel and DTX software. Virtual treatment plans that put the teeth in place use amazing software. Obviously, X-Nav and X-Guide dynamic navigation are very powerful. I can actually operate on patients while keeping my head up and having proper ergonomic posture. As dentists understand the technology more, it’s going to create a giant change in their life. In general dentistry, clinicians will be able to cut preps for crown and bridge work and perform procedures that will be more efficient for their patients and easier for them. Robotics will shift from those with very large, almost industrial arms into smaller robots that consistently learn people’s habits. For example, if a smaller robot arm has AI, it can actually learn the dentist’s habits. This would allow it to become a perfect assistant. It is going to take time, but this is the future. Robots that perform simple tasks can make our lives better and easier. You can already see that with a company like X-Nav. I think that’s super exciting.

Learn More

Learn more about the benefits of integrating DTX Studio implant planning with X-Guide navigation for a complete dental implant solution! Scan the QR code below or visit

Georgios A. Kotsakis, DDS, MS

Tell us about your background

I received my DDS from the University of Athens and then practiced in Athens, Greece. I completed my residency in Perio-dontics and MS in Science at the University of Minnesota when starting my peri-implantitis research. Now I am an Associate Professor of Periodontics, UT Health San Antonio, and Director of the ITI Scholarship Center. I am a Diplomate of the American Board of Perio-dontology and serve as a Graduate Faculty member in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UT Health San Antonio, and as an Affiliate Associate Professor in Global Health at the School of Public Health, University of Washington. At UT Health San Antonio, I direct the NIH-funded Translational Periodontal Research Lab conducting research on the biological mechanisms underlying peri-implant bone loss and developing novel treatments for dental and biomedical implants. I serve as an Associate Editor for BMC Oral Health, Frontiers in Oral Health, and as an editorial review board member for multiple prestigious dental journals. I practice Periodontics in the UT Health San Antonio intramural clinics with a focus on implant complications and peri-implantitis.

How do you relieve the stress of a busy practice/speaking schedule?

The best stress reliever is chatting with my little ones after a long day at my practice. Toddlers have such amazing viewpoints about what’s important in life. My kids have helped me learn that the moment I walk through my home door, along with my shoes, I also remove any work-related stressful thoughts.

How does someone achieve the status of KOL/influencer?

Being a KOL to me means that you have a passion for constantly asking “why,” and “how can we improve,” and sharing evidence-based answers to these questions with the community.

How do you build and keep credibility in a world of many opinions?

It’s all about putting the time and effort to investigate the rigor and credibility of your opinions. Opinions are often empirical or based on someone’s perception of what may be true. However, because medicine and dentistry are driven by biology, all opinions must be put to the test through the scientific process to ensure their credibility. That’s the foundation of evidence-based dentistry.

As a researcher, where is your current focus regarding implants and regenerative products?

My main research focus is on peri-implantitis prevention and management. Dental implants are extremely successful, but there are no contingencies available when complications occur. We are actively pursuing the best treatment strategies for bone regeneration around diseased implants. Our team at UT Health San Antonio is currently conducting the first ever clinical trial on whether mechanical dental treatments may negatively affect peri-implant bone regeneration through the production of implant-derived titanium particles. We are assessing how osteostimulative bioactive synthetic biomaterials can restore implant surface cytocompatibility to allow re-osseointegration. This critical evidence will help us develop evidence-based guidelines for peri-implantitis treatment.

How do you keep current on the trends and changes in this rapidly evolving dental sector?

I am part of the implantology literature reviews in our Periodontics residency programs, discuss new literature information during treatment planning, and constantly screen articles that concern our main research lines to stay up to speed.

What stands out as unique among the plethora of dental implant products and regenerative materials?

Because regenerative materials have made great improvements in biological efficacy, a new area of interest is the enhancement of the delivery system to broaden or optimize biomaterial applications. For example, we recently leveraged the second-generation putty form of a bioactive alloplastic biomaterial that enables it to be dispensed from a uni-dose cartridge — much like some of the restorative materials commonly used in the dental office. By optimizing the cannula diameter to fit precisely at the 2.8 mm osteotomy, we leveraged this differentiated method of delivery to develop a simplified crestal sinus augmentations technique based on the hydraulic pressure distributed through the putty (NovaBone® Dental Putty) to the Schneiderian membrane. The expression of the material through the pilot hole creates a type of hydraulic pressure that elevates the Schneiderian membrane without trauma. This technique has now become a mainstream approach for simple, effective, and safe crestal floor elevation with excellent long-term data.

To Learn More

To learn more about NovaBone® Dental Putty, visit

Dr. Chris Farrugia

How do you relieve the stress of a busy practice/speaking schedule?

Sometimes that is easier said than done! I believe that stress occurs only when your life is out of balance. Work is balanced by play, so for me, it’s a matter of creating sufficient time for recreation to balance out the time spent practicing, speaking, and teaching.

What is a fun fact about you?

Basketball was one of my favorite sports in high school. You would not guess this about someone that is a little over six feet in height, but I led the city of Pensacola in goaltending my senior year!

How does someone achieve the title of KOL/influencer?

I think the designation of KOL/Influencer is achieved only by someone who has both accumulated enough knowledge through his/her own personal professional journey and has the willingness and time to share that knowledge with others, thereby influencing the professional journey of others.

How do you build/keep credibility in a world of many opinions?

Credibility can only be built on honesty. There are some straightforward things that can facilitate building credibility: Keep it real, understand that you don’t know everything, be willing to say “I don’t know but I’ll find the answer,” and understand that any question may have multiple valid answers.

How do you keep current on the trends and changes in this rapidly evolving dental sector?

Dentistry is evolving and changing at a tremendous pace. Materials, techniques, and technologies advance at an ever-accelerating rate. I’ve found that the only way to keep current is by voracious reading, maintaining a professional curiosity, always asking questions, and participating in as many CEs as you can.

What do you think will be the most exciting development in the future of implants in the next five years? The next 20 years?

I think there will be many astonishing developments in dentistry in the next five-plus years. From a surgical/prosthetic perspective, I look for the in-office production of scan-based, same-day, custom CAD/CAM implants in the short term. Further out, I think there will be some very exciting surgical/restorative solutions to edentulism based on advances in our understanding and utilization of stem cells.

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Surgical and surgical/prosthetic services are some of the most important aspects in the practice of dentistry. These services have a huge, direct impact on the quality of life of our patients. In addition to gaining the knowledge to provide these services, dentists must also learn how to be properly compensated for them while making them affordable for their patients. That is why a course like Medical Billing for the Surgical Dental Practice is critical to the success of dentists who perform these procedures in their practice.

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In this article, Dr. Steven Vorholt explains how experiential learning can create influencers

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Earn dental continuing education credits as an Implant Practice US subscriber. Log in for online dental CE credits now!

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