July/August 2013
Volume 34, Issue 7

Nobel Biocare Global Symposium: Designing for Life Strives to Improve Outcomes

From June 20-23, 2013, more than 2,000 dental specialists from all over the world converged on the historic Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City for Nobel Biocare’s Global Symposium. The sold-out Symposium offered attendees 4 full days of education, taught by world-renowned researchers, scientists, clinicians, and academics. The theme of this year’s Symposium was “Designing for Life: Today and In the Future,” as Nobel Biocare is focused on providing long-term implant solutions that last patients a lifetime.

The program covered the entire treatment “journey” from presentation to follow-up. Shaped by Nobel Biocare’s scientific committee chaired by Professor George Zarb, the Symposium featured highly esteemed implant experts, who led a wide variety of presentations and programs. Beyond the Symposium’s main program, which included discussion panels composed of some of the top names in the industry, attendees were encouraged to attend a variety of Hands-on and Masterclass courses to hone specific skills and learn about innovations in implantology.

Day 1: Missing Anterior and Posterior Single Teeth

The event kicked off June 20 with an introductory morning session moderated by George Zarb and William Becker. The speakers raised numerous concerns that continue to challenge the notion of a universal therapeutic application of implant therapy, including the effects of systemic interactions on osseointegration, an expanded understanding of the induced interface that results in osseointegration, as well as the ongoing need for better evidence supporting long-term treatment outcomes and maintenance protocols.

The introductory session also served as a venue for the announcement of the official inauguration of the Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation (FOR). FOR builds on Nobel Biocare’s long-standing commitment to science, education, and humanitarian engagement. The Foundation seeks to provide on-demand opportunities for learning, sharing, and mentoring for better patient care, and offers members a vast network of educational and supportive resources at its exclusive website, www.FOR.org. “Anybody who joins FOR will be able to access an extraordinary amount of information that will be beneficial on many levels,” said George Zarb, FOR’s Chairman. The sponsorship of FOR demonstrates the strong emphasis Nobel Biocare places on training and education, and underscores the future contributions the company plans to make to the oral health community. During the inauguration, it was also announced that Bertrand Piccard had been awarded the Foundation’s “FOR Humanity Award,” in recognition of his humanitarian efforts through his “Winds of Hope” humanitarian foundation.

That afternoon, the main program, Patient Journey 1–Missing Anterior and Posterior Single Teeth, was moderated by Peter Wöhrle and Charles Goodacre. The first of the four patient journeys, the session offered strategies for dealing with the demanding esthetic challenge posed by replacement of anterior single teeth, which is especially the case in younger patients due to issues related to available soft- and hard-tissue morphology and the status of adjacent teeth.

The first day also included six speaker-led Masterclass sessions, and a special program, Minimally Invasive Surgical Protocols, was moderated by Armando Lopes.

Day 2: Missing Multiple Anterior Teeth

Patient Journey 2–Missing Multiple Anterior Teeth, the first main program of Day 2, went beyond the five points described in the previous day’s program for single tooth replacement. Speakers at this presentation—moderated by Bernard Touati, Sascha Jovanovic, and Lesley David—made it clear that in replacing multiple anterior teeth, clinicians should recognize that the resultant 3-dimensional morphological features of long-term residual ridge resorption are more likely to pose a challenging esthetic outcome. In addition, a more demanding surgical site preparation may be needed for patients who do not want cantilevered prosthetic teeth with simulated gingival replacement; and when there are generous smile lines and both anterior teeth and supporting tissue have been lost, the treatment demands for achieving the desired biocompatible, esthetic, and functional parameters may be challenging.

Later that day, the main program sessions included On Enriching the Treatment Paradigm–Digital Solutions in Implant Dentistry (Digital Stream 1) and Reconstructive Surgery and Prosthodontic Solutions for Severe Cases.

An Emerging Leaders session moderated by Eric Rompen and Bernard Touati gave several up-and-coming dental leaders the opportunity to share the podium with seasoned colleagues for a discussion of Tissue Volume at Anterior Implants: A Key to Esthetic Success. One of these emerging leaders, Sunyoung Ma, of New Zealand, is currently involved in clinical trials investigating long-term outcomes of single implants and implant overdentures using different types of implant distribution and rehabilitation protocols. She was thrilled to discuss various clinical cases in a global environment. “I was so humbled by the invitation to come speak at Nobel Biocare’s Global Symposium. I have learned a lot from the world-renowned clinicians and researchers, and it has been a great experience being part of the FOR.”

The educational experience was rounded out by morning and afternoon Hands-on sessions with a team of speakers from Nobel Biocare and Masterclass sessions with individual speakers. There was also a special lecture on using social media to expand a dental practice by Dr. Edward Zuckerberg, father of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, entitled, “Social Media and Its Impact on Networking and Marketing Your Practice.”

Day 3: Missing Multiple Posterior Teeth; and Managing the Terminal/Failing Dentition

On the last full day of the symposium, morning and afternoon main programs continued the patient journey theme, with Patient Journey 3–Missing Multiple Posterior Teeth and Patient Journey 4–Managing the Terminal/Failing Dentition: The Transition to Edentulism, respectively.

The discussion of missing posterior teeth moderated by Stefan Holst and Eric Rompen noted the need to select adequate implant numbers and design features to achieve desired esthetic outcomes, but stressed the importance of their potential for dealing with sustained and prolonged loading demands.

The Transition to Edentulism led by Peter Moy and Roland Glauser focused on how pro­to­cols in implant therapy for edentulous patients have now evolved to provide both patients and dentists with additional versatile and optional solutions.

In addition to the Masterclass and Hands-on sessions, there were three sessions for Dental Technician Day: Christian Coach­man presented Smile Design and Material Selection for White and Pink Esthetics Over Implants; Patrick Rutten and Stefan Holst presented New Restorative Solutions for Efficiency and Esthetics; and Jean-Marc Etienne and Bernard Touati presented Implant Esthetics in the Digital Age.

Day 4: The Predicament of Edentulism

The final day featured a Post-Symposium program on The Predicament of Edentulism–How Viable and Universal is the Implant Solution? Moderators George Zarb and Edmond Bedrossian and the assembled speakers presented the spectrum of management challenges that confront the profession when seeking to manage long-standing edentulism in particular.

Beyond the Symposium

The Global Symposium’s numerous and diverse presentations, workshops, and Masterclasses worked in tandem to enrich the attendees’ clinical vision of biotechnological creativity that offers scientifically robust and predictable treatment outcomes for partially and completely edentulous patients. As the more than 2,000 Symposium attendees return to their practices, they will be able to incorporate what they have learned into their everyday procedures, ensuring that their patients receive implant solutions that last a lifetime.

— Kate Hughes, Compendium editorial staff

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