Boca Raton Periodontist Has High Dental Implant Success Rate

Periodontists have advanced training in placing dental implants and they use the latest 3D CT technology to help ensure high success rates for dental implants.

We have an approximately 98 percent success rate for dental implants in our Boca Raton periodontal and dental implant practice.  Worldwide, that number is probably closer to 94 percent.  We bat ahead of the curve.  The success rate on dental implants worldwide is actually dropping right now, primarily because there are so many general dentists that are getting into the mix.  Right now about 50 percent of all implants in the world are being placed by general dentists, which means that they just do not have as much training or experience in placing implants and doing bone grafts.

As a specialist in periodontics, a critical part of my formal training was learning to diagnose, treatment plan, and then place dental implants along with bone grafts.  That is not something that is formally taught in dental school.  With regard to dentists who have decided to go back and learn how to place dental implants, most of them have done some type of very brief training, whether that means a few weekend courses or, perhaps, what they call mini residences, which are sometimes a week or ten days long.

With this type of limited training, dentists do not have opportunity to experience formal training with instructors over a period of years and years.  My training was a one-year hospital residency, followed by a three-year specialty residency, always under the tutelage of mentors who had many years, if not decades, of experience.

I have been personally placing implants for about 19 years and would estimate that I have placed around 13,000 implants at this point.  In my opinion, there are a number of very important factors that lead to successful outcomes with implant dentistry.  One of them is adequate diagnosis and treatment planning.  That requires a thorough examination with the patient, often with a 3D image like a CT scan.  Many dentists do not have CT scan technology in their office and they may not be as comfortable or familiar reading a 3D image.  It is important to remember that 2-dimensional images like a panorex or a regular dental X-ray, called a periapical radiograph, often has 20 to 25 percent distortion, which means that they are not accurate for determining the optimal placement of a dental implant.  3D technology like a CT scan does not have that distortion.

Patients should ask questions about training, experience, and equipment when they seek dental implant treatment.


IMG_3490_lowDr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Florida Periodontist Discusses New Technology

Florida Periodontist Dr. Frederic J. Norkin discusses new technology such as digital x-rays, Tekscan, and high resolution digital photography to plan treatment for patients.

We use a number of tools for diagnosis and treatment.  Those include digital radiography that allows us to take X-rays that are at the lowest possible radiation dose for our patients.  We are also able to use what’s called a “T” scan, a Tekscan, and that essentially is a tool that we use to digitally check a patient’s occlusion—in other words, their bite.

Most dentists use what is called articulating paper that just makes marks on teeth but does not tell much about the biting force.  Particularly when we are dealing with patients with implants, bite and biting force are critical.  It is not just a matter of seeing where the patient bites but, most importantly, how hard and whether the bite is balanced properly.  We can use this digital technology, the “T” scan, to make sure that we can deliver a balanced and protective occlusion for our patients.  This technology really improves our treatment outcomes, particularly when dealing with patients with full arch and full mouth restorations.

In many instances, we also use digital impressions, so that we can take accurate impressions of our patients without having to necessarily take conventional impressions that require us to fill trays and sometimes trigger the gagging reflex in patients.  Digital impressions are appropriate in some instances but not, unfortunately, in every instance yet. When we use it, however, it is exceedingly accurate.

We also photograph many of our cases. Diagnostically, photographs are tremendous for us to be able to observe a patient’s lip line and smile.  A photo lets us see where we are starting from and, very importantly, it allows us to share this information with the patient.

Many people have guarded smiles, particularly when they have a broken down dentition, and we try to retract the teeth and see areas that they do not ordinarily see.  Digital photography with high resolution and magnification allows us to have a clear indication of how to rebuild their smile their confidence.

We are always on the forefront of these new technologies to better serve our patients.




Dr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

New Dental X-Rays Offer Great Advantages

CT scan technology combined with new computer programs allows periodontists to plan dental cases in advance, get better results, and shorten treatment time.

We have been using CT scan technology in our practice now for about a decade.  It is perhaps the single most important tool that we have in our office.  It literally lets us see through the bone, very much the way I would take an apple, cut that apple in half and be able to open it up and look inside.  With the CT scan, I have that same ability to take an image of your jaw, cut it in half and look at the inside of your jaw.  In doing so, we have so many advantages.  Diagnostically, we can find certain types of lesions that are related to root canals or failing root canals that we may not ordinarily see on regular dental X-rays.  We can certainly see the anatomy much better.  We can find where the sinuses are with great accuracy.  We can find where certain nerves are located, so we can avoid them during surgery.

We also have planning software that works with these images that allows us to use our computer to plan out an entire case in advance, whether it is for a single implant or for many implants and make sure that we place the implant in the most ideal position.  That planning lets us do a much better job, more accurately, more efficiently when it comes to doing the actual surgery.

Beyond that, in many instances, we then mill guides that allow us to take our plan that we made on the computer and with tremendous accuracy replicate t through a CAD cam, meaning a computer-assisted design, computer-assisted milling process.  We mill a guide and replicate our plan that we made without the patient there and then deliver  on the day of treatment the same exact plan that we designed in advance.

This process allows us to do certain procedures that may require going around a nerve or a sinus much more accurately and safer than we would ordinarily.  It also allows us the opportunity to maximize what little bone some patients may have remaining.  It also lets us place implants in the most ideal position.  Finally, with high-tech x-rays and software, we work much more efficiently and we can do less invasive procedures.  By taking advantage of CT scan technology, we minimize chair time for the patient.

In sum, we are able to take CT scan information, combine it with computer planning ahead of time, and then ultimately deliver a superior outcome for our patients.


IMG_3490_lowDr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry