Implant dentistry has had an unparalleled influence on the way modern dentistry is practised around the world. Patients who were previously debilitated can now expect reconstructions that return them to almost normal form and function. For the dentist involved in implant dentistry, trying to keep up with emerging trends and obtaining information that is based on fact rather than marketing is an onerous task. This difficulty was recognised by the Australasian Osseointegration Society (AOS) ten years ago and they responded by organising a Conference on an aspect of implant dentistry biennially.
"In the intervening years, we have seen the Biennial Conference grow into a forum unparalleled in Australasia," said Dr Yvonne Vidovic, President of the AOS in NSW and a member of the Conference Scientific Committee. "This year we hope to present a Conference that focuses on broad principals of implant dentistry rather than on a particular brand of implant.
"We've engaged speakers that are talented and entertaining and who have exceptional academic credentials, basing their lectures on fact, not fiction. We've worked hard to bring a mixture of European and North American philosophies into the program and know this will reflect the globalisation of implant talent. The keynote speakers are Professor Daniel van Steenberghe, Drs Franck Renouard, and Frank Celenza Jnr. All are outstanding presenters with formidable reputations in their respective fields.
"This Conference will also feature six speakers nominated by our Platinum Sponsors as being outstanding in their area. They are Drs Harold Baumgarten (Implant Innovations Australia), Stephen Chen (Straumann), Lyndon Cooper (Astra Tech), Nicolas Elian (Innova), Brian Mahler (Halas/Southern Implants) and Paulo Malo (Nobel Biocare)."
According to Dr Vidovic, the calibre of the local presenters is no less impressive and the combination should provide a stimulating Conference. Under the theme of 'Integrating, the future', the speakers will explore the expanding range of implant therapy in the orofacial environment. The plenary sessions have been dedicated to:
- Advances in radiographic planning, CAD/CAM technology and digital imaging;
- Managing the implant/bone and soft tissue interface particularly in the periodontally compromised patient;
- The association between biomechanics, osseoperception and immediate loading;
- The use of implants for anchorage in orthodontics, especially where there is anodontia; and
- Achieving consistent, long-term, stable aesthetic results.
"As anyone doing implant dentistry appreciates - it's not just about the surgical or restorative techniques," Dr Vidovic said. "We've tried to address the non-clinical aspects of implant dentistry efficiency and economy, as well as promotion through the use of digital photography and communications skills which will help your patients accept these big treatment plans. Your staff can support you in these areas and you are encouraged to bring them along to any of the plenary sessions or workshops."
Finally, but not least significantly, the conference will feature Mr Naoki Aiba, a ceramist recognized by Mr Willi Geller, as being outstanding in the field of aesthetic restorations. Naoki will present a lecture in the plenary session and a two day handson, limited numbers workshop during the Conference. Entitled "All Ceramic Restorations", it involves fabricating a central incisor with Creation AV/Procera Alumina and a bicuspid with Creation Zi/Procera Zirconia. This gives participants the chance to compare Alumina and Zirconia (aesthetics vs function) and the finished porcelain result. Communication with the laboratory will also be addressed by Ms Rita Bauer in one of her digital photography workshops. Rated one of the most popular speakers at the Chicago Midwinter Meetings, Ms Bauer is the Manager of Media Services at the University of Toronto where she provides photographic material for educational purposes and teaches clinical photography, PowerPoint presentation techniques and digital technology. Her enthusiasm and ability to make a complex technology into a simple and fun exercise, makes her a much sought after presenter internationally. Her workshops will cover dental photography with the single lens reflex camera for the experienced SLR user and also a series of limited attendance hands-on training courses for non-SLR digital users. Her workshops are suitable for anyone involved in dentistry. No matter what level of experience you have with digital photography, you will find excellent take home information from her courses.