Navigating innovation

Dr. Mark Anthony Limosani outlines how embracing endodontic innovation can help push clinicians to better outcomes.

When it comes to innovation, consider the following statement associated with Henry Ford’s development of the Ford Model T: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” At the time, people didn’t realize that a motor vehicle was even in the realm of possibility. This concept can be applied to almost every industry, including endodontics. Thinking creatively and maintaining a forward-looking mindset is critical to progress.

There’s more to innovation than launching a new product. Without adoption and utilization, a new technological offering is futile. Awareness and understanding are two key components. In endodontics, it’s common for clinicians to be unaware of a brand new technology. Also, a clinician may be aware of a new product, but lack a proper understanding of how it works and its potential impact on procedural and clinical outcomes.

Here are four products that have had positive impact:

  • Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT): CBCT allows clinicians to gain a deeper understanding of their patient’s tooth and the surrounding struc This allows for doctors to unveil the possibility of cracks, fractures, and resorption, which eliminates guesswork significantly and limits the need to surgically explore a tooth.
  • Microscope: The microscope truly revolutionized the way clinicians operate. Endodontics has transitioned from a largely tactile specialty to heavily relying on the enhanced visual cues that provide unparalleled precision. The microscope increases predictability and allows clinicians to visually map out the floor of the chamber while minimizing the sacrifice of healthy tooth structure. With it, we can better prepare for and address any areas that could cause heightened discomfort for patients, while also improving procedural predictability by more thoroughly addressing the internal anatomy.
  • Heat-treated rotary instruments: Prior to rotary instruments being heat-treated, clinicians were forced to create an access into the chamber and the mid/apical third of the canals to accommodate these more rigid instruments and mitigate the liability of their separation. Now, flexible and pre-bent instruments allow us to cut smaller and manage cases with more limited access.
  • GentleWave® System: The GentleWave System is an innovative technology platform designed to treat the infected or inflamed dental pulp by cleaning and disinfecting the microscopic spaces within teeth for greater dentin preservation. It enables thorough treatment with less collateral damage.

With all new technology comes unfamiliarity. While it can be intimidating to change a long-standing way of thinking or process, discomfort can represent great opportunity. When researching a new technology, I always consider how it could positively impact my practice and my patients, rather than focusing on the learning curve.

I encourage endodontists to think about our profession through the lens of possibility. Make time to learn about disruptive product offerings that are available today, and then push yourself to move past the discomfort to obtain better outcomes for yourself and your patients.

Read more about how Dr. Limosani pursues endodontic innovation in his own practice:

Mark Anthony Limosani, DMD, received his dental degree from the University of Montreal in 2007. Since then, he completed a 1-year multi-disciplinary residency at the Queen Elizabeth Oral Health Center, a McGill University affiliated program. Following 1 year of private practice and many hours of continuing education, he then followed his dream and attended the specialty program in endodontics at Nova Southeastern University where he also received his Master’s degree in Dental Science. He is an international speaker and the recipient of the “Robert A. Uchin Endodontic Award” for his presentation during Nova’s endodontic alumni day. He is a past president of the South Broward Dental Society as well as the South Florida District Dental Association and currently serves as a Trustee to the Florida Dental Association.

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