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Reflecting on the ADI Implantology Zone at BDIA Dental Showcase

BDIA Dental Showcase 2024 saw the first ADI Implantology Zone and Theatre, hosted by the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI). Delegates flocked to visit lectures presented by expert speakers in the Theatre and see what was on offer from dental implant product and technology providers.

Hard and soft tissue management

Day one in the ADI Implantology Theatre was kicked off by with an introduction from Amit Patel, Immediate Past President of the ADI, who invited attendees to enjoy what the ADI Implantology Zone had to offer. Dr Selvaraj Balaji’s session, titled “Management of Hard and Soft Tissues in Complex Defects”, explored the importance of understanding the unique biology of each individual patient, and each individual tooth.

Selvaraj began by sharing the challenges he faced in the early stages of his implant career, and his struggle with managing hard and soft tissues. A bone graft will not survive unless the soft tissue is stable – with a minimum of 2mm of soft tissue required. The choice of bone graft material is important, with autogenous bone the gold standard, and allograft and xenograft options for slow resorption. He highlighted the importance of choosing the right membrane for each defect, and the benefits of a non-resorbable membrane like PTFE. Selvaraj recommends planning treatment according to the individual tooth, meeting the needs of the bone type. He explained that, by following this, he has been able to offer his patients a five-year guarantee with every bone graft.


Intramucosal implants

Dr Amit Kotecha’s session “Intramucosal implants: consent and case planning” discussed using thin dental implants which allow space for soft tissue, like the Prama implant from Sweden & Martina. Amit highlighted that patients are paying for their improved smile, and restored dignity, so it’s important to choose a predictable treatment approach. Further to this, he discussed the importance of taking complete, accurate, and contemporaneous notes, ensuring that you offer patients all of the available options, even if it means referring them to another professional. He discussed disclosing the risks of doing nothing for a patient with tooth loss – sharing that he shows his patients images of bone loss, to ensure they get a true visual understanding of the consequences. Amit highlighted that timing is everything when providing dental implants as, if treatment is provided prior to structure loss, the patient journey is far easier. In terms of alternative treatment options, it’s important to explain to patients that dentures compress the soft tissue, eventually leading to bone loss due to reduced blood flow. Amit also commented that, while implants are often advertised as having a life of 10-12 years, results can be better than this. He showed a case example of an all-on-6 which lasted 26 years with no problems. The patient described the result as a miracle.

Dr Kevin Allanam from Prodental was among the audience for the lecture, about which they commented:

“Amit described his cases well. I will use all of the important information I have learnt in this lecture, and I would highly recommend attending BDIA Dental Showcase.”


Digital implant workflows

Dr Douglas Watt discussed the benefits of a digital workflow in his session “Digital implant retained dentures”. Doug explored the relationship between traditional and digital workflows in a world where, often, everything is intraoral scanner based. He highlighted that, in cases where a traditional impression is taken, the workflow can still be digitised, by scanning the impression itself. A digital workflow means that dental professionals don’t need to re-do anything should a denture need remaking for any reason. Doug described his digital workflow and decision making, including his preference for milling over 3D printing, and the use of a surgical guide for every procedure to ensure predictability.


Minimally invasive approaches

In his session “Minimally invasive implant dentistry” Henri Diederich discussed the importance of changing the implants for the anatomy rather than changing the anatomy for the implants. Focusing particularly on patients who have limited bone, Henri highlighted the use of zygomatic implants, and thin paranasal implants. When patients have a very narrow crest, using thin implants can help to avoid bone grafting/ridge splitting, and cause less damage. Henri went on to explain the Bone Truss Bridge (BTB) concept. The technique uses more implants for improved outcomes. Henri talked through several cases which included younger patients between 40 and 60 who were looking for long-term solutions.

In attendance at Henri’s session, Dr Anusha Rudresh from Alliance Dental commented:

“My participation in the lecture gave me various different approaches to treatment planning that can help me when explaining to patients.”

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