Editor's Letter

May 30, 2023

My recent interview with Dr. Patricia Swanson is our cover story for this issue of Chairside® magazine. Recently named Junior Educator of the Year by the American College of Prosthodontists as well as receiving the Charles Craig Teaching Award from Omicron Kappa Upsilon, Dr. Swanson is recognized as an emerging leader in dental academia. I wanted to hear her perspective about the rapidly changing technology of restorative dentistry and better understand how schools of dentistry were responding to a new generation of future dentists who were “digital natives” — completely comfortable in the digital age of dentistry.

As you will read in the interview, I was pleased to observe that Dr. Swanson and her colleagues at Stony Brook University are active participants in the digital revolution. In fact, her department has been renamed the Department of Prosthodontics and Digital Technology in recognition of the fundamental changes occurring. Students are gaining hands-on clinical experience with scanning, digital design, and the milling of monolithic materials. Significantly, the students I spoke with were excited about the prospect of leveraging digital technology in their clinical practices. 

As usual, the benefit of digital technology for our patients is a theme throughout this issue of Chairside. Dr. Taylor Manalili — another outstanding young prosthodontist — brings us two articles validating the benefits of digital technology in implant placement. Showing both fixed and overdenture cases, she demonstrates guided bone reduction as a valuable precursor to precision guided implant placement.

Dr. Paresh Patel shows an anterior case where he accessed the laboratory for a digitally designed diagnostic wax-up and provisional restorations, before using that data to design and fabricate the crowns with his in-office mill. This kind of clinical creativity — creating a hybrid process to find the best solution for our patients — represents the next level of opportunity for our practices.

Dr. Bradley Eli, from Encinitas, California, begins a three-part series on screening and treating patients with migraine headaches in the dental practice. While this may be a service you have not previously considered adding to your practice, several oral appliances are well-documented as treatment for this common and debilitating condition. Also on the topic of pain management, we’re excited to feature Stephanie Botts, RDH, with important information about ergonomics to help the dental team prevent the musculoskeletal disorders so common to our profession.

And finally, we’re pleased to publish a case from one of our readers, Dr. Lex Pierre from Houston, Texas. As we so often observe, his patient so much appreciated the esthetic improvement that resulted from the placement of crowns on #7 & 10, that she decided to have veneers placed on #6, 8, 9 & 11. Thank you, Dr. Pierre, for sharing your case with us, and we invite all of our readers to submit interesting cases for publication. Please contact us at chairside@glidewell.com with your submissions.

Neil Park, DMD

With kind regards,

Neil Park signature

Neil I. Park, DMD