Inside Dentistry
January 2010
Volume 6, Issue 1

P-I Brånemark Scientific Symposium Launched

Unique interdisciplinary event focused on osseointegration.

The first P-I Brånemark Scientific Symposium —a unique interdisciplinary event focusing on the advances and future prospects of osseointegration—was deemed an outstanding success. This invitation-only gathering brought over 200 healthcare, dental, and medical experts to Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 29-31 to reflect on “Osseointegration and Related Treatment Modalities: Future Perspectives, Quality of Life and Treatment Simplification.”

Distinguished scientists and key opinion leaders arrived from around the world to exchange their in-depth knowledge of and experiences with implant-based treatment modalities. Free from industry bias, a scientific committee of renowned experts in various fields of osseointegration developed the symposium program, which included basic science, economics, quality of life, and future developments of osseointegration for use in intra- and extraoral implant-based rehabilitations.

This ground-breaking meeting was structured around intimate and interactive discussions and sessions examining progressive clinical applications and treatment modalities of osseointegration and dental implant treatment. These sessions included: Bone Physiology and Implant Biomechanics; Improved Surfaces and Growth Factors; Soft Tissue/Implant Interface and Peri-implantitis; Bone Augmentation/Regeneration and Maxillofacial Reconstructions; Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids, Maxillofacial and Extraoral Skeletal Reconstructions and Anaplastology; Imaging, Guided Surgery, and Orthodontics; CAD/CAM-Based Prosthetics and New Materials; Clinical Methodologies; and Economy, Simplification, and Quality of Life.

“The need for such a gathering has become very clear,” explained Daniel van Steenberghe, chairman of the symposium, “due to the fact that today’s medical and dental meetings are often very industry focused. We were happy that Nobel Biocare has invested in a gathering with such a visionary approach and hosted this event.”

The honorary chairman of the symposium, Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, gave the symposium its name and was present for the entire event. The acclaimed researcher, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year, discovered the concept of osseointegration, which laid the basis for today’s oral rehabilitations.

In his opening speech, Dr. Brånemark reminded the audience that the concept of osseointegration has developed into as much a philosophy as it is a technique for rehabilitation. According to the professor, it is important that clinicians continue to put the patient at the heart of their work, and healthcare providers should not forget that they exist to serve patients’ needs.

Dr. Brånemark continued this important theme during a subsequent question-and-answer session about his views on developments in osseointegration since 1965 and the resulting impact on patient health. He stressed the necessity of focusing on basic patient satisfaction over technological sophistication. According to Dr. Brånemark, there are still millions of people who lack treatment, “despite the fact that it is possible to give them an improved quality of life at a reasonable cost.” Everyone involved in healthcare is responsible, he reminded the attendees. Experts should be talking not only to each other, but “we should ask, listen, and be concerned about those who normally don’t stand up and speak for themselves—the patients.”

Dr. Brånemark noted an “overenthusiasm” for very advanced reconstructive procedures rather than identifying the minimal surgery needed for maximal benefit. For example, Dr. Brånemark explained, if there is a simple procedure that can be applied on many more patients, and that does not require a long range of supportive technologies over years, then many more could benefit. Clinicians should be committed to “simple, safe, available procedures—yes, that’s what this symposium is all about.”

He continued, “After all, we are just at the beginning, we are still very carefully trying to move into the future. This meeting is a special kind of symposium, because it really questions are we doing the best for our patients?” Dr. Brånemark ended his session by thanking the audience for their attention and “for respecting the fact that it’s not science—it’s care.”

On the final day of the meeting, Domenico Scala, CEO of Nobel Biocare, addressed the health industry from an ethical perspective. He concluded by affirming the company’s plan to continue the symposium in the future. “We at Nobel Biocare offer our full support to this symposium and its ambitions,” he said. “We are committed to making Prof. Brånemark’s wish come true and we will help to institutionalize the P-I Brånemark Scientific Symposium as one of the key scientific symposia in healthcare.”

It is Dr. Brånemark’s wish that this symposium become a new platform for the exchange of scientific knowledge, and all forthcoming symposia will continue to carry his name. In the near future, a compilation of the presentations will be published in a prominent scientific journal as a record of this meeting. The next P-I Brånemark Scientific Symposium is scheduled for 2011.

Figure 1

Figure 2
LANDMARK EVENT (1.) Domenico Scala, CEO of Nobel Biocare, addressed the health industry from an ethical perspective. (2.) Prof. P-I Brånemark was the honorary chairman of the symposium bearing his name.

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