Inside Dentistry
September 2008
Volume 4, Issue 8

Making New Discoveries at the Astra Tech World Congress 2008

In June, more than 1,800 members of the international dental community gathered in Washington, DC, to hear world-renowned speakers address topics regarding implant dentistry’s present and future at the second Astra Tech World Congress.

The 4-day event held at the beautiful and newly constructed Gaylord National Hotel was, without a doubt, a capital affair. The distinguished Scientific Committee panel, which was comprised of Jan Lindhe, Tomas Albrektsson, Jan Eirik Ellingsen, Jocelyne Feine, Lisa JA Heitz-Mayfield, Niklaus P. Lang, Steve Lewis, Michael Norton, Mariano Sanz, Henning Schliephake, Tetsu Takahashi, and Ray Williams, exemplified the quality of the Congress program that began with 16 parallel pre-congress sessions on Wednesday and continued from Thursday morning through Saturday afternoon.

Participants from more than 23 different countries had the opportunity to gain from the experiences of 131 internationally esteemed industry leaders on the latest topics including bone grafting considerations and techniques, the preservation of soft tissue, the perspective of the auxiliary team, and surgical and restorative methods using digital technology, just to name a few. Simultaneous translation in six different languages was provided to accommodate the international diversity of the delegates. Attendees repeatedly lauded the comprehensive scientific content in which speakers shared their own knowledge and opinions.

As an introduction and follow-up to the scientific programs, live theatrical and musical performers inspired the audience with talent and the awe of the unexpected. The Grand Opening session moderated by Professor Jan Lindhe (Sweden) Thursday morning, marked the first official day of the congress' main scientific program and presentations addressed a number of topics critical to high quality outcomes, as well as surgical and prosthetic problems inherent to the treatment of challenging oral conditions. Friday morning opened with a Good Morning with Astra Tech program, moderated by Dr. Michael Norton and fellow co-host Dr. Sverker Toreskog. In addition to the lectures, the program followed a morning show format of candid interviews, live music, and news breaks and concluded with a thought-provoking panel discussion.

Afternoons featured 10 parallel sessions made up of 80 lecture sessions in total.  Surgical focus; Restorative methods—techniques and solutions; Unlimited possibilities in implant dentistry; Clinical facts—documentation and findings; Advanced technology in support of implant therapy; Biology and mechanics—merging different entities; Implants moving towards a standard of care; Prevention and management of complications, Frontline research in implantology; and Dental implantology from the perspective of the auxiliary team were the comprehensive range of subject areas covered, allowing participants the opportunity to view topics most beneficial to their needs. The energy of the presentations carried into the evening entertainment, where on Thursday, Astra Tech infused the Donald W. Reynolds Center for the American Art and Portraiture with sensational cuisine, music, performers, and activities around every corner of the gallery, making for an unforgettable evening.

Friday evening was equally unique with dinner and a three-act performance based on discovering the world through music, song, and dance. The sold-out event brought more than 2,100 audience members to their feet as the grand finale showcased the eclectic group of performers together in perfect harmony. The combination of a harp that extended to the 20-foot ceiling, violinist quartet, tenors, divas, an acappella group, and a dance troupe of 20 left a lasting impression of breathtaking inspiration.

On Saturday, the second Astra Tech World Congress concluded with a final main session, Esthetics and the future, moderated by Drs. Laureen Langer (US) and Michael Norton (UK). A $15,000 award in the area of Tissue Integrated Prosthetics was presented to Dr. John Brunski for his significant contributions to Applied Research in Osseointegration. Four awards were also presented to winners of the poster competition: Gustavo Mendonca, Brazil; Ahmad Hamdan, France; Jenni Rissanen, Finland; and Hans Bystedt, Sweden.

This year's world congress also provided the vehicle for the official introduction and launch of the Atlantis patient-specific abutment solution to the European market. Other highlights included the introduction of the new 3.0 S OsseoSpeed™ implant for cases with limited horizontal space and the 4.0 S, 6mm implant for cases with limited vertical bone height, as well as the presentation of data that indicate long-term marginal bone level maintenance around Astra Tech implants to be at least three times more superior to that of the industry norm.

For more information on the Astra Tech World Congress or to purchase the 2008 Scientific DVD of the recorded presentations, please visit www.astratechdental.com.

Figure 1 Over 1,800 delegates from around the world gathered to hear from 131 world-renowned speakers.   Figure 2 The sold-out International Dinner inspired guests with an evening of new discoveries through music, song,
Figure 3 and Figure 4 Between sessions, the exhibition hall filled with congress attendees eager to make new discoveries at the surgical, restorative, scientific, and training and education "islands." Sold out workshops provided the opportunity for hands-on training on the Astra Tech Implant System™.

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