Investing in technology and ourselves

Dr. Steven Vorholt reminds us that advancing organized implant dentistry depends upon investing in innovative technology, events, and education. 
Dr. Steven Vorholt

As the seasons begin to change for much of the country, many of us will also be looking forward to changes in our practices. The end-of-the-year meeting with dental accountants often includes talk of larger purchases to offset taxes and to take advantage of a successful financial year. Inside this edition of Implant Practice US, you will find information on exciting technology at the forefront of implant dentistry. Whether you are looking at enhanced scanning and digital planning solutions, in-office fabrication via 3D printing, 5-axis milling units, or even robotic-assisted implant surgical units, it is all at your fingertips. I encourage every implant dentist to become familiar with the bleeding edge of technology in our field, even if the price tags and time and training investment seem too much to consider. It was not long ago that dental cone beam units were a luxury with invoices rivaling the new robotic surgical units, and now they are ubiquitous in dental implant offices and are considered the standard of care for diagnosis and treatment planning of implant cases. My friend and mentor, Dr. Justin Moody, was the first dentist to purchase a CBCT in the state of Nebraska for a cool $216,000 in 2006. Many considered the investment to be excessive and a bad financial decision, including Justin’s rancher father in his hilarious recounting of the purchase, but now it would be difficult to find an implant-focused dentist without one. Many high-quality CBCTs are now available for less than $75,000 and are a staple in general dentistry, orthodontics, endodontics, and surgery. So do not wave off the newest entrants of high-price technology in dental implants; robotics are now flirting with standard-of-care discussions — it may be in 15 years’ time, but no one should be caught flat-footed.

The fall also brings with it one of my favorite annual events, the AAID Annual Conference. This year it is hosted in Dallas, and there is no better avenue for exploring all of these technologies in implant dentistry than the conference’s vendor exhibit hall. Investments in ourselves are more important than large investments in technology. Whether an investment is an implant continuum, advanced surgical or restorative courses, or networking with like-minded professionals, the AAID Annual Conference is a conduit to all of these opportunities. I was honored last year to receive my Diplomate in the ABOI at the Annual Conference and am delighted to attend this year to witness the recognition of my close friends and colleagues, Drs. Josh Nagao and Andrew Farkas, as they receive their own Diplomate designation. They and 38 other extraordinary dentists have made a goal a reality this year to receive the highest credential currently bestowed upon implant dentists in the United States, requiring several years and several hundred hours of implant-focused CE, a grueling 200-question written exam, and a live oral exam defending their own cases and proving their deep understanding of all things implant dentistry. Congratulations to them and the class of 2022 ABOI Diplomates, AAID Fellows, and Associate Fellows. I look forward to advancing organized implant dentistry together in the years to come!

One of Dr. Vorholt’s ways of advancing organized implant dentistry is by writing for Implant Practice US! Read his article, “Incision line opening: the good, the bad, and the ugly,” for his insights into how to address a challenging implant procedure. https://implantpracticeus.com/incision-line-opening-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

Steven Vorholt, DDS, FAAID, DABOI, is a general dentist who focuses on dental implant surgery and restoration. He is currently the Clinic Director of the New Horizon Surgical Center in Tempe, Arizona. He is also the Implant Director for Implant Pathway and is on the faculty for NYU Langone’s AEGD program at the New Horizon Dental Center. Dr. Vorholt is a Fellow in the AAID and a Diplomate in the ABOI.

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