The why, where, when and how
Periodontal regeneration was the focus for European experts at one of the last dental conferences before lockdown
[ Words : Declan Corcoran ]
Around 650 periodontists from all over the world descended upon the Royal Dublin Society to attend Perio Master Clinic 2020, the fourth edition of the global perio conference organised by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) specifically for clinicians. The conference took place one week before the Irish Government introduced a ban on mass gatherings with the outbreak of COVID-19.
With the topic Hard and Soft-Tissue Aesthetic Reconstructions around Teeth and Dental Implants: Current and Future Challenges, the conference brought together 37 world-renowned specialists from 14 countries to share their knowledge and experiences in this specialist field of dentistry. Periodontal regeneration around teeth and dental implants is the most challenging area faced by practitioners working in this field today, and one of the most exciting too. The attainment of regeneration is the holy grail of dentistry. Perio Master Clinic 2020 proved to be the dental conference of 2020 worldwide.
The ultimate goal of periodontics is to regenerate the tissues around teeth that have lost periodontal support, yet hard and soft-tissue reconstruction represents a major obstacle for the clinician. Scientific and clinical evidence has proven that reconstructive techniques effectively improve long-term prognosis, aesthetics, and quality of life for patients. The increasingly advanced understanding of biology and biomaterials has helped create novel treatment concepts leading to predictable outcomes.
Periodontal regeneration around teeth and dental implants is the most challenging area faced by practitioners, and one of the most exciting”
Yet regeneration remains the ultimate challenge faced by the clinician – it tests the clinical skills of the operator to the limit. Every day, every hour, of our working lives, we are faced with clinical situations that could benefit from regenerative techniques. But the question is: do we have the clinical skills or the confidence to carry these out for our patients? We need to build up clinical skills so that we can offer these procedures to our patients with the prospect of long-term success and with an acceptable degree of safety. It is only by developing our skills that we will begin to be able to offer these advanced surgical techniques to our patients.
Perio Master Clinic 2020 set out to help the delegates gain precisely these skills and the confidence to deploy them. The aim was to set the stage for predictable reconstructive procedures, asking the questions of why deploy them, when to use them, which techniques to adopt, and how to perform them.
These topics had not been addressed comprehensively in previous editions of Perio Master Clinic. But this time they received complete, undivided attention from speakers and delegates – an amazing exchange which turned out to be fruitful for all participants. All those attending our conference this year were keen to pitch their levels of knowledge and expertise against those of the world’s experts, and in so doing they may have confirmed in their own mind if the techniques that they were deploying in their own practice were satisfactory – or, alternatively, if they needed to be modified. It certainly acted as a vehicle for upskilling for many of the delegates.
The number of participants was limited to 650 to ensure an optimal learning environment, so that dentists and periodontists could be informed of the current scientific research and trained in the latest therapeutic techniques. And, as planned, the single-track-lecture format ensured that each delegate got to see everything.
In the weeks before the conference, it quickly became apparent to the organisers that changes needed to be made to the staging of the event to comply with guidelines being outlined by the Irish Government. A significant number of speakers were unable to travel to the conference because