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What you Missed in 2023:

When it comes to reaching for the stars, there was no better way to kick things off than with a keynote from someone who knows what it’s like to go to space. Tim Peake, military helicopter pilot and ESA astronaut demonstrated that no matter what the challenge, all you need for success is the right people, the right preparation and the right plan. He shared some fascinating insights into his remarkable career, demonstrating that with passion, communication and collaboration, even the greatest obstacles can be overcome.

With delegates enthused and ready to learn, the programme got off to an incredible start with Ricardo Kern and Ramón Gómez Meda discussing soft tissue tunnelling techniques and the importance of preserving teeth as a priority. It was interesting to see the latest research on GTR and the benefits this can afford before implants are considered to restore teeth, and delegates were reminded of the breadth of treatment options at their disposal.

The programme later split into various conference streams dedicated to each member of the implant team, with the Plenary Programme continuing to provide delegates with expert insight into various concepts, technologies and ideologies. Howard Gluckman discussed the management of complex defects in the aesthetic zone, offering a frank and open perspective on how these can be approached for success.

Pier Gallo maintained the same level of honesty when talking about vertical ridge augmentation. He emphasised the importance of patient selection for success with this procedure, also discussing the defect itself, the barrier, bone filling material fixation, flap management and suturing. With the focus today on both functional and aesthetic outcomes, soft tissue grafting has become an essential part of implantology, though complications remain and must always be actively mitigated.

In another popular session, Tomas Albrektsson explored the role that the immune system plays in osteointegration and marginal bone loss, suggesting that a very delicate balance must be achieved between osteoblasts and osteoplasty to achieve a good result. He explained that implantology is actually taking advantage of the body’s immune response to a foreign body and this must be understood in order to reduce the risk of complications. In many cases, bacteria are not the culprit for problems and even those considered ‘sick’ implants in the literature can still last in the mouth for several years if they are treated correctly.

Throughout the programme, digital dentistry featured heavily as a means by which to achieve the best treatment outcomes and journeys for many patients. Martin Wanendeya provided his take on the digital world, offering a wealth of advice on how delegates could make the most of the technologies available.

The lectures were complimented by a morning of hands-on workshops hosted by various implant manufacturers and suppliers. With sessions delivered by Anthogyr, Dentsply Sirona, Geistlich, Osstem, MegaGen and Sweden & Martina, delegates had the opportunity to try out new techniques and refine their practical skills in a range of areas.