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30 Sep 2017 | Australasian Dental Practice

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The Ostrich approach to implant dentistry: Keeping our eyes wide shut won’t stop peri-implantitis

By Prof. Dr Axel Spahr

The replacement of missing teeth with restorations anchored on endosseous dental implants is a common treatment option, attractive for dentists and much sought-after by patients. The number of dental implants placed worldwide is increasing continuously, resulting in an impressively and aggressively growing implant market. The number of implant manufacturers is also increasing, providing us today with a huge range of different implant types/shapes, lengths, diameters and surfaces, made out of different implant materials and with different implant/abutment connections, thread heights and thread pitches.

Unfortunately, the increasing number of implants is accompanied by an increasing incidence of peri-implant diseases, peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. Peri-implant mucositis, restricted to the gingiva surrounding the implant, is potentially reversible if diagnosed early and treated sufficiently. However, reversal is not always possible when the infectious and inflammatory disease progresses further into the surrounding bone and is then called peri-implantitis.

Studies have shown that the success rate of peri-implantitis treatment is most favourable when early diagnosis and immediate, proper intervention are performed. Late diagnosis and commencement of treatment as well as inappropriate treatment will inevitably lead to bone loss around the formerly successfully osseo-integrated dental implant and eventually to implant loss.

Previous investigations have shown that the treatment of peri-implantitis is quite complex and challenging, demanding a comprehensive knowledge about pathogenesis, modifying local and systemic factors, biofilm control, antimicrobials and decontamination of implant surfaces and requires a surgical approach that may involve the need for resective procedures as well for hard and/or soft tissue augmentation.

To address this challenge we have decided to organise the SUMMER DENTAL CONFERENCE, where independent and world-renowned international experts will present the most current scientific evidence but also their own clinical approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat peri-implant diseases. Furthermore, we have organised a HANDS-ON MASTERCLASS where our experts will guide participants through detailed hands-on exercises of non-surgical and surgical techniques on specifically designed peri-implantitis models and also introduce them to state-of-the-art instruments and devices.

The SUMMER DENTAL CONFERENCE and HANDS-ON MASTERCLASS will be held at Sydney University and Sydney Dental Hospital from February 16 to February 17, 2018. You’re invited to join world-renowned international speakers:

  • Prof. Dr Stefan Renvert (Sweden);
  • Prof. Dr Jean Louis Giovannoli (France); and
  • Prof. Dr Joerg Meyle (Germany)

as they share their extensive scientific and clinical experience. Dentists, Dental Specialists, Oral Health Therapists, Dental Hygienists as well as Dental Students interested in prevention and treatment of peri-implant diseases are all welcome. So, let’s take our head out of the sand and take over control again.

Don’t miss out! Places are limited and filling fast! Register today at

The Summer Dental Conference is organised and moderated by Prof. Axel Spahr, a board registered periodontal specialist, Head of Periodontics at the Sydney Dental Hospital and Head of the Discipline of Periodontics at the University of Sydney.

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