Rome provided the attractive backdrop for this year’s International Expert Symposium organized by Ivoclar Vivadent. The fourth event of the series “The Quality of Esthetics” took place from June 15th to 16th, 2018, at the trendy cultural palace Parco della Musica in one of Rome’s new architectural highlights. Eighteen world-class speakers shared and discussed concepts in dentistry and dental technology that were aimed to help provide high-quality patient care in the modern age of digital change.
The symposium was held under the topic “Advanced Digital and Esthetic Dentistry” and attracted 1,000 participants from all continents to Italy’s capital. In view of the pressing questions related to the digital developments currently taking place, the symposium was extended to two days. In addition, breakout sessions provided deeper insight into specific topics. In his welcome address, Robert Ganley, CEO of Ivoclar Vivadent AG, said: “The international symposium is a platform where researchers, opinion leaders, and users in the clinical and technical field of dentistry can exchange views and learn from each other.”
From analog to digital
How can users who learned the ins and outs of their trade in the analog world make smart use of digital technology in the workplace? This question was central to many speakers at the symposium. Representing the views of many of his colleagues, Dominique Vinci, dental technician from Switzerland, maintained that digital technology offers advantages at many stages in restorative dentistry, starting from optical impression-taking. Oliver Brix (Germany) stated that in spite of all the advantages offered by digital technology, the knowledge and expertise of the dentist-technician team, a clear vision of the treatment goal, competent planning, skilful and patient-oriented finishing, and above all, dedication and passion would remain decisive for the success of dental restorations. To demonstrate his views, he showcased several patient cases in which a blend of conventional and digital techniques were skilfully used to achieve astonishing results. Similarly outstanding results were also shown by Dr. Andreas Kurbad (Germany) and Professor Dr. Stefan Koubi (France), together with Hilal Kuday (Turkey). A comparison of analog and digital protocols in removable prosthodontics was provided by an Italian team of four, consisting of Dr. Pietro Venezia, Dr. Alessio Casucci, and dental technicians Pasquale Lacasella and Alessandro Ielasi. Their views were consonant with those of their colleagues and they were echoed by dental technician Stefan Strigl (Italy), who stated: “Neither dentists nor technicians are handing over the reins to technology; it is only the tools that change.”
Strategies for daily work
If you want to apply new materials and strategies, you want to be confident that you can rely on them. Using the example of an implant reconstruction in the esthetic anterior zone, Priv. Doz. Dr. Arndt Happe (Germany) and master dental technician Vincent Fehmer (Switzerland) tested the waters of the latest dental technology. Their findings were elaborated by Dr. Mirela Feraru and Prof. Dr. Nitzan Bichacho (Israel) who presented the concept of “Cervical Contouring” to achieve natural soft tissue integration, drawing from several clinical cases.
Guided by nature
Irrespective of whether conventional or digital processes are used, the result is what matters in the end. This was shown particularly clearly in a case involving bone augmentation planning, presented by Dr. Francesco Mintrone (Italy). His advice was to look carefully at new software, hardware, and materials before starting to use them, as they vary in performance capabilities. The importance of an informed decision-making process was also emphasized by Dr. Victor Clavijo and dental technician Murilo Calgaro (Brazil): preparation, shade matching, and ingot selection need to be considered when choosing a material to be sure that the natural tooth structure can be rebuilt as closely to nature as possible.
The maxim that nature should be the guide—rather than a zest for e.g. maxing out limits—was also central to the presentation of Dr. Gianfranco Politano (Italy). He advocated using a simplified protocol involving restorations in only two increments (Class II) and an efficient cusp build-up to recreate the occlusal morphology in the posterior region.
In dialogue with attendees
The attendees were encouraged to participate in the presentations. To facilitate audience participation, Ivoclar Vivadent designed an event-specific app where questions could be posted. The questions were answered by Professor Francesco Mangani, event moderator, and the speakers in live Q&A sessions at the auditorium. The dialogue was continued in a relaxed atmosphere at the “Ivoclar Vivadent and Friends” gala dinner on the hill of Monte Mario. The guests enjoyed resplendent views of Rome and the nearby Vatican in the sunset.
The dialogue with dentists and dental technicians will be continued. At the end of the event, Paolo Castoldi, Managing Director of the Ivoclar Vivadent subsidiary in Italy, announced the next edition of the International Expert Symposium, which will be held in Paris in two years.