As I sit writing this piece, I contemplate the past year and the New Year to come and what it means for me, my patients and dentistry.

I reflect back on changes made to our practice, new team members, new skills and lots of new information!!

This past year we received the latest updates in software for our Cerec Machine. These updates allow us to provide even more esthetic porcelain crowns and onlays for our patients in less time due to the inherent design improvements. This new software is much more intuitive and provides us with design proposals that require far less manipulation than in the past resulting in shorter appointments for our patients.

In this past year, I also graduated from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) with the Diplomate Status, which is the highest level of accomplishment recognized by this esteemed organization. Successful completion of this certificate required me to not only present successfully treated treatment cases, but also to successfully complete (with a minimum80% pass/fail grade) both a written and oral exam. I felt quite honoured to have achieved this milestone in my ongoing dental education.

In addition to providing evidence of my implant surgery/restorative skills, I also enrolled in a multi-session (totaling 17 days) course on advanced implant treatment. This course, taught by the most respected clinicians in the world focuses on advanced and complicated implant treatment therapies and provides me with the latest in evidence based, new skills and knowledge for treatment of my patients. These therapies include the use of such modalities as use of new bone stimulating proteins and refinements on the ?teeth in a day? treatment for patients who suffer with unwearable dentures. Also emphasized, are new research based methods of providing implants for front teeth in a manner that provides the best chances of completely natural results.

In addition to implant therapy, we are now offering help for all our patients (and their sleeping partners) who snore or suffer from sleep apnea. New approaches in this treatment modality make it even easier than ever for our patients to get a good and restful night?s sleep. Stay tuned for more information on this increasing epidemic that faces our population and increases our risk of pulmonary hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke. In addition, these patients are at risk for automobile accidents (due to falling asleep at the wheel) and overall exhaustion due to poor sleep patterns.

As for the New Year, I will be continuing with the Mastery Course in Implant Therapy, and once again, visiting Seattle where I will be both mentoring and learning with other dentists the latest techniques of treatment planning at the Center for Dental Excellence with Dr. John Kois, plus several other courses to bring new skills and knowledge to my practice for the benefit of my patients.

In conclusion, I want to thank all of my patients for allowing me the privilege of looking after their dental needs and for their loyalty and their trust. I want to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year and look forward to continuing to bring you new ideas and information.

Carol Waldman