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31 May 2017 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Inaugural Osteology Australasia symposium as a resounding success

The inaugural Osteology Australasia 2017 symposium has concluded in Melbourne a resounding success. Almost 300 people, the majority dental specialists from Australia and New Zealand, attended the event staged at the luxurious Sofitel on Collins.

The symposium is a key education vehicle for the Osteology Foundation, an organisation that promotes research, education and collaboration between universities and industry in the field of oral and maxillofacial tissue regeneration. True to its motto "Linking Science with Practice in Regeneration", the Osteology Foundation and Osteology Australasia 2017 aimed to bridge the gap between scientific progress and clinical practice, as well as between academic and industrial researchers in the field of oral tissue regeneration.

"The entire meeting was a fantastic success," said Dr Torben Hackl, Managing Director of Geistlich Pharma Australia, who organised the event on behalf of the Swiss-based Osteology Foundation. "We've had overwhelming feedback from the participants, speakers and sponsors about the content of the program and the overall organisation. We were really touched by all the positive responses."

"We had more people attend than expected for what is a relatively unknown event here. It's new to Australia and the region but the response is indicative of the burgeoning interest in the field of tissue regeneration.

"We had a large contingent of specialist periodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons in attendance, as well as other specialists and general dentists, mostly from Australia and New Zealand, but also Korea, India, South East Asia and Europe. We could not have hoped for a better outcome."

The scientific program for Osteology Australasia 2017 was chaired by highly respected US periodontist and Osteology board member, Dr Pamela McClain and supported by local co-chairs Prof. Saso Ivanovski and Dr Stephen Chen.

The program commenced on Friday, June 2 with the first half of the day dedicated to a series of optional hands-on workshops and a Research Forum. The workshops were presented by Prof. Christoph Hämmerle, Dr Otto Zühr, Dr Lisa Heitz-Mayfield and Dr Jonathan Leichter. All workshops sold out well ahead of the event, with interest so high, additional "observer-only" places were created in two of the workshops, which also sold out. The Research Forum included presentations by Prof. Saso Ivanovski, A/Prof. Axel Spahr, Prof. Ivan Darby and Dr Kristian Tersar.

The main program, that commenced at lunchtime on the first day and concluded on June 3, included presentations from Prof Ki-Tae Koo, A/Prof Richard W Chan, Dr Peter Clark Ryan, Dr Michael Danesh-Meyer, Dr Robert P De Poi, Dr Christopher Evans, Dr Gregory G Peake, Dr Jamil Alayan and Dr Steven Soukoulis as well as the workshop and forum presenters.

Delegates were also invited to the Osteology Gala Dinner in the glamorous atmosphere of the illustrious Studio 3 in the Crown Casino complex. Following a superb four course dinner, delegates were amazed by a presentation from former US Astronaut Leroy Chiao, who completed four spaceflights, three on Space Shuttles and the final on a Soyuz rocket. Dr Chaio spent over 229 days in space on the ISS with a total EVA time of over 36 hours.

The event was sponsored by Geistlich Biomaterials, Nobel Biocare, BioMeDent, Henry Schein Halas, Dentsply Sirona, NSK, Southern Implants, Straumann and Zimmer Biomet.

The Australian Red Cross also participated in the event, reinforcing that Geistlich's Bio-Oss Australian-sourced bovine-based bone substitute is the only grafting material of its kind that allows a patient to remain a blood donor after treatment with the product.

"Everyone had a great time and everyone was happy with the outcome," Dr Hackl said. "There were lots of interactive discussions and very different treatment approaches discussed. It was clear that there's not one right way; depending on the circumstances, there are lots of different treatment approaches.

"By the conclusion of the event, we had overwhelmingly positive feedback and a clear mandate from the profession for more education, including another Osteology Conference, this time in Sydney in 2020."

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