The International Team for Implantology (ITI), a leading academic organization dedicated to the promotion of evidence-based education and research in the field of implant dentistry, awarded the 2017 André Schroeder Research Prizes to Dr Antonio Liñares González and Dr Vinay V. Kumar. The André Schroeder Research Prizes are two of the most prestigious awards in the field of implant dentistry and are awarded annually to independent researchers for advancing dental research and development. Dr Liñares González, Clinical Director of the Periodontal and Implant Center Antonio Liñares in La Coruña, and Dr Kumar, a Consultant at the Department of Head and Neck Surgery of the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center in Bangalore, were presented with the award by ITI President Dr Stephen Chen during the ITI World Symposium in Basel on May 6, 2017. Each prize winner received 10,000 Swiss francs as well as an engraved gold medallion.
Dr Liñares González received the André Schroeder Research Prize for Preclinical Research for his study providing a "Histological assessment of hard and soft tissues surrounding a novel ceramic implant: a pilot study in the minipig". "As our main goal, my co-authors Leticia Grize, Fernando Muñoz, Benjamin Evans Pippenger, Michel Dard, Olivier Domken and Juan Blanco-Carrión and I undertook to assess the soft tissue composition around ceramic and titanium implants", commented Dr Liñares González. The results clearly indicate that while soft tissues around ceramic and titanium tissue level implants are similar in terms of biological width, the epithelium shows improved adaptation around ceramic implants compared to titanium implants. "While the study suggests that ceramic implants may improve soft tissue conditions, it is important to keep in mind that this was the first preclinical study on the Straumann Pure Ceramic implant", emphasized Dr Liñares González. "Our study provides an excellent starting point for studies focusing not only on the advantages of ceramic implants in terms of esthetics, but also on their advantages in terms of soft tissue stability and prevention of complications."
This year's André Schroeder Research Prize for Clinical Research went to Dr Vinay V. Kumar and his co-authors Supriya Ebenezer, Peer W. Kämmerer, P.C. Jacob, Moni A. Kuriakose, Naveen Hedne, Wilfried Wagner and Bilal Al-Nawas, who conducted a study on "Implants in free fibula flap supporting dental rehabilitation – implant and peri-implant-related outcomes of a randomized clinical trial". "I have always been passionate about restoring chewing function for patients who had lost their lower jaw to tumors, infections or other traumas and I was lucky to find a group of people that was just as passionate about this topic as I am", commented Dr Kumar. "What we wanted to achieve with our study was to establish treatment norms and success criteria for the dental rehabilitation of patients following segmental mandibular reconstruction with free fibula flaps." The results of the study revealed that peri-implant tissue in patients with free-fibula-reconstructed lower jaws differs significantly from that of patients with non-reconstructed lower jaws. Accordingly, the research team developed a classification system as well as treatment norms for rehabilitating patients with reconstructed jaws. "We hope that these results will encourage practitioners to successfully treat patients with reconstructed mandibles, thereby improving their quality of life", said Dr Kumar.
Dr Liñares González holds a Licentiate in Dentistry from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, a Master's degree in Clinical Dentistry in Periodontology from the Eastman Dental Institute University College in London, United Kingdom, as well as a European PhD from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Dr Kumar received his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore, India, in 2003, followed by a Master in Dental Surgery (MDS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) from Mumbai University, India, in 2008. From 2010 to 2011, he was an ITI Scholar at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and in 2013, he completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Mainz, Germany.
The two winners received their awards from ITI President Stephen Chen in front of over 4,800 symposium participants. "We were speechless when we found out that the ITI Research Committee had honored our work with the André Schroeder Research Prize", said Dr Liñares González and Dr Kumar. "We and our teams have put a lot of work and passion into our studies and it is very gratifying to see our effort rewarded by such a distinguished Committee!"
About the ITI
The International Team for Implantology (ITI) is an academic association that unites professionals around the world from every field of implant dentistry and related disciplines. It actively promotes networking and exchange among its membership of currently more than 15,000 ITI Fellows and Members regularly share their knowledge and expertise from research and clinical practice at meetings, courses and congresses with the objective of continuously improving treatment methods and outcomes to the benefit of their patients.
In 37 years, the ITI has built a reputation for scientific rigor combined with concern for the welfare of patients. The organization focuses on the development of well-documented treatment guidelines backed by extensive clinical testing and the compilation of long-term results. The ITI funds research as well as Scholarships for young clinicians organizes congresses and continuing education events and runs more than 600 Study Clubs around the globe. The organization also publishes reference books such as the ITI Treatment Guide series and operates the ITI Online Academy, a peer-reviewed, evidence-based e-learning platform with a unique user-centric approach.