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Digital Implant Dentistry with Dr. Mark Ludlow
Episode 34027th September 2021 • The Best Practices Show • ACT Dental
00:00:00 00:33:04

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Digital Implant Dentistry

Episode #340 with Dr. Mark Ludlow

If there's any way digital can elevate your practice, use it! Today’s guest, Dr. Mark Ludlow, is here to talk about the benefits of digital implant dentistry and its future. Kirk Behrendt and Dr. Ludlow examine the different ways using digital can help students, dentists, and their patients. If you're interested in what digital could do for your practice, listen to Episode 340 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

Digital doesn't replace fundamental dentistry; it’s a tool.

Digital is objective, and can also help students get more practice.

Using digital can positively change the patient experience.

It can also cut down chair time with the patients.

Analyze how digital can fit into your practice.


“I've been doing this stuff for quite a while, just because it was something that interested me, and it was something that I saw as moving into the future and what would be the future trends of dentistry. And so, that's why I hopped on it earlier. And looking at it now versus how it was back then, it’s almost unrecognizable how different it is now.” (04:45—05:06)

“A lot of what we do in prosthodontics is we’re coming in, sometimes to fix things, sometimes to redo cases, and stuff like that. And so, you really want the tried-and-true thing to constantly work, and something that's always worked and has worked over the years and has big history. And sometimes, that's a little bit difficult when it comes to digital, because hardware changes, software changes, different things change so quickly.” (07:31—08:00)

“There are so many things that you can do with digital that back in the day I couldn't even really fathom doing.” (08:45—08:53)

“I think the one thing people have to remember is, what digital does for you is it doesn't replace fundamental principles and fundamental dentistry. They're tools, just like everything else is a tool. (09:23—09:34)

“I think what a lot of these [digital] tools do for us is it allows the student, especially, to start really being able to self-evaluate, because the scanner and the software to merge it, it’s just a tool. It’s going to give them a completely objective readout to where they can start to look at things and really self-assess and see, ‘Okay. This is what I'm doing. This is what I need to do better.’” (11:57— 12:23)

“[Digital] is not getting feedback from the faculty that may look at it and be like, ‘Ugh, this stinks!’ And you go to the other faculty and they're like, ‘This is the greatest prep we’ve ever seen!’ Digital doesn't do that at all. It’s completely objective. It says, ‘Well, you were off 500 microns here, a millimeter-and-a-half this way. You were completely off.’ So, it really helps the students.” (12:24—12:46)

“Before, in labs, you had to sit there and prep, and do your thing, and have the faculty be there. Now, they can go ahead and do this any time. So, the kids are getting a lot more practice than they normally would because they can get the feedback off-hours and get more experience that way.” (12:49—13:07)

“If there's some way that digital could augment your practice, get into it.” (29:08—29:14)


Dr. Ludlow’s background. (03:05—07:01)

Old and new-school prosthodontics. (07:25—10:05)

Benefits of digital for students. (10:42—13:39)

The digital side of implants. (14:27—17:47)

Changes in digital. (18:31—20:09)

What dentists and students get wrong with digital. (20:17—22:00)

The future of digital. (22:14—25:11)

Favorite thing about working with students. (25:30—28:46)

Last thoughts and Dr. Ludlow’s contact information. (28:57—30:53)

Reach Out to Dr. Ludlow:

Dr. Ludlow’s email: 

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Dr. Mark Ludlow Bio:

Mark Ludlow, DMD, is an Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine. He is the division director of implant dentistry and the co-director of the Digital Dentistry Residency.

As a prosthodontist, Mark is actively involved in advanced implant education and is recognized internationally as a leader in digital implant restorative procedures.

Mark has been a pioneer in guided implant surgery and has helped several manufactures develop guided surgical workflows. He is proficient with the Trios system, Planmeca, and CEREC workflows.

His passion in patient care is implant-supported prosthetics fabricated using exclusively digital workflows.