ADA congress Melbourne 2013

ADA congress Melbourne 2013

Another federal ADA congress is over and it was a success.  the delegates seemed happy with the presenters and the trade were happy to sell some dental stuff to the 2000 dentists who attended.  I was in the fortunate position to be invited by dental files to interview several of the keynote speakers after their presentations.  Dental files is a CD given to members of the ADA six times a year with interviews on topics of interest and new procedures.  At last count there were about 12,000 members of the ADA (or is it 14,000 now, so many new dentists seem to be arriving from overseas) so my gravely voice gets heard by a lot of people.

I enjoyed interviewing Dr Michael Norton from the UK about his presentations on “understanding the biomechanics of implant dentistry”.  Ideas on who and why implants work have changed over the last 30 years and new paradigms are emerging.  Many factors influence the way an implant interacts with the bone including the shape (straight or tapered, long or wide), thread (square, v shaped, buttress or reverse buttress, fin) and features on the neck of the implant  to dissipate stress from the crestal bone.  his understanding of the literature and willingness to challenge current dogma was interesting to explore. He flew in from London on the Friday morning and was flying home on Sunday, thats a lot of flying for two days on the ground.

Surface treatment of the titanium is also a hot topic.  Micro and even nano surface treatments of the metal can create features on the titanium that atract bone to grow onto the implant faster and more predictably.  I have discovered by talking a lot with the manufacturers that the way the implant is cleaned after being manufactured also is very important, the good brands will spend as much money on cleaning the surface as they spend on making the implant. The second tier implants (which are often the bargain price implants) have to save money somehow and I would suspect they just don’t clean the surface as well.  In Brisbane last year I had a chance to chat with the NEOSS implant team and they have a very involved and detailed surface treatment the not only cleans very well but increases the surface energy in such a way as to encourage faster healing.

I also interviewed David Roessler, a prosthodontist from Sydney who filled in for John Burgess who was ill.  David gave three very entertaining presentations on resin bonding as well as ceramics.  He was entertaining and informative in his presentations as well as the interview.  For dentists some of the take home messages were to beware mixing and matching different manufacturers bonds and luting cements as they are not all compatible.  Immediate dentine bonding is a hot topic (as promoted by Pascal Magne) and David gave an update on some of the pitfalls that can occur if the technique is not followed carefully.  I think a good synopsis of his presentations was always to try and remove the least amount of tooth possible to achieve an aesthetic, strong and cleansible restoration of the tooth.  Also that when it fails (and everything fails if we live long enough) we want the restoration to fail not the tooth because it is better to redo a restoration than replace a tooth.

In just over a week I am off to Miami, Florida for four days of implant lectures and the latest on bone grafting, the sonic weld system.  I will let you know how it goes.