To kick off the 2017 Opening Symposium, Academy of Osseointegration (AO) President Dr. Alan Pollack acknowledged a crowd of more than 2,223 doctors representing 56 countries attending the multidisciplinary meeting in Orlando, FL. This included more than 300 new members who joined the Academy in the past year.
As part of his remarks, Dr. Pollack also provided his Presidential Address in which he stated, “Much of the ‘take-away’ from these meetings derives from sharing ideas and problems with colleagues. Sitting next to someone in the lecture halls who may practice across the country, or across the globe, in a different practice setting and performing procedures that you don’t, or wouldn’t do yourself offers the opportunity to open your mind to different perspectives and share disparate experiences.”
“From its inception, although in fact even before the NY Dental Implant Study Club became the Academy of Osseointegration more than 30 years ago, AO has stood as the home to the interdisciplinary approach to implant dentistry. To this day, our membership is roughly evenly divided between the three mono-specialties, represented here at this meeting by our collaborating American specialty organizations, along with our general dentist friends and colleagues,” Dr. Pollack continued.
“We remain committed to maintaining AO as the forum for the impartial exchange of information that we all need to continue to advance in the care we provide our patients. As the profession evolves and practice models change in an economic environment of greater competition, it’s imperative that we all take the time and make the effort to stay current, to expand our knowledge base as we incorporate new techniques and technologies to give our patients the best care and sets us apart as true professionals,” he concluded.
Also during the welcome and introductions, 2017 Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair Dr. Jeffrey Ganeles described more about the meaning behind this year’s theme.
“I always thought the title of Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, was both an inspirational theme and an aspirational motivator. The essence of the book is that there are identifiable qualities that have allowed some companies to accelerate and outperform rivals. Metaphorically, we have done the same in implant dentistry,” said Dr. Ganeles.
To quote from the last paragraph of the book, “When all these pieces come together, not only does your work move towards greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.”
On that note, Dr. Ganeles concluded, “On behalf of the committee, I hope you are amazed and frustrated, challenged and stimulated and overwhelmingly motivated by our meeting.”
Jill Helms, DDS, PhD delivered the keynote address, “Beauty, Reconsidered.” She provided a framework for thinking about the concept of beauty, and its profound impact on the clinical practice of implant dentistry. Dr. Helms also discussed some of the newest therapies in the field of regenerative dental medicine that hold promise for patients requiring complex craniofacial reconstruction.
“We are literally hard wired to recognize beauty, and no other part of our anatomy figures more prominently into that appraisal than facial appearance,” said Dr. Helms. “I hope my presentation guided attendees on a journey that both validates the restoration of their patient’s external beauty, and also gets to the deeper business of appreciating the beauty that exists inside each of us.”
Immediately following Dr. Helms, presidents of the Annual Meeting co-sponsoring organizations, Dr. Susan Bracket, ACP; Dr. Douglas Fain, AAOMS; and Dr. Terrence Griffin, AAP moderated presentations by five renowned international speakers: Dr. Peter Wöhrle, Dr. Ueil Grunder, Dr. Ricardo Mitrani, Dr. Torsten Jemt, and Dr. Markus Blatz, who examined the many advancements in implant dentistry since the development of osseointegration.
The AO Annual Meeting strives to create a meeting that allows collaboration with the best and brightest clinicians from around the world. Attendees agree the meeting is a great way for clinicians to stay current about implant dentistry’s best practices.
“It was an interesting concept about how we look at ourselves, the world, and how the face and teeth are really part of us. It was a nice touch,” said Dumitru Gogarrioiu, AO member and periodontist from Winwood, PA about keynote speaker Jill Helms.
Lee Hauer, AO member and periodontist from Hollywood, FL followed up about Dr. Helms with his observation that it was “really very interesting talking about the face.”
Turning to the other Opening Symposium presenters, Santiago Diaz Prieto, a student from Mexico City said, “What was amazing to see was all the names that we have read many articles before and to see them live, it was impressive.”
“There were really good presentations on full arch and single tooth rehabilitations. That was really interesting. It was nice for people to touch on four cases about trying to rehabilitate those cases and get a good esthetic outcome,” said David Garazi, an attendee from Miami.