“Controversial” Dental Panel a Big Hit

26 02 2010

With Dr. Gordon Christensen leading the way, a panel of six experts in a variety of dental fields answered questions from a large crowd Friday morning for the CE course “Panel — Controversies in Dentistry — 2010.”

Key “controversial” topics included the high cost of implants, oral cancer, sealants, surgical microscopes and more. Dr. Christensen, Founder and Director Practical Clinical Courses, sorted through so many submitted questions that he had to do his best to combine some so that as many attendees as possible could be answered.

Joining him on the panel were Drs. Jay Beagle, L. Stephen Buchanan, Karl Koerner, Samuel Low and Peter Yaman, who between them possess a wealth of experience and knowledge with specialities that include endodontics, periodontics, materials, implants and clinical research.

Most of the panelists agree that implants have gotten so predictable and effective that in many cases they are the best long-term solution, yet many attendees questioned how the industry can make them more affordable. “Implants are now a fetish for the affluent,” Dr. Christensen said. “We need to get them down (in costs).”

Dr. Beagle, an implant dentist from Indianapolis, shared his thoughts on how to choose the best implant procedures, the importance of patient selection and the waiting period neccessary before placing certain types of implants. Dr. Buchanan, meanwhile, reminded the audience that good endo care can often save more teeth than some clinicians may realize. He also talked about how much cone beam assists endodontists
both in their treatment and in deciding which cases to avoid.

“The cost (of cone beam) is not only borne by the fees you charge, but you can do more,” Dr. Buchanan said. “Also, I no longer treat ‘loser teeth.’ With cone beam, you’re not treating a patient for two hours and then telling them you can’t do a root canal.”

Look for more on this panel discussion later.

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