On Friday 30 and Saturday 31 May 2008, clinicians and laboratory technicians from 35 different countries came to Vienna to participate in Materialise Dental’s 7th edition of its SimPlant® Academy World Conference on computer guided dentistry. Set in the comfortable surroundings of the Hilton, clinicians attended intensive SimPlant® software training sessions, hands-on workshops and various lectures by key opinion leaders.
Taking the Next Steps in Digital Implant Planning and Placement
The SimPlant® Academy World Conference kicked off on Friday morning 30 May with two corporate fora, one dedicated to Friadent’s ExpertEase and the other to Biomet 3i’s Navigator technology. Ashok Sethi, BDS, spoke for the former sponsor and Michael Block, DMD, acted as a speaker for the second sponsor Biomet 3i. Other sponsors that were also represented at the SimPlant® Academy World Conference were Astra Tech Dental (Facilitate), DeguDent, KaVo, Morita, NewTom and Planmeca.
The corporate fora in the morning were followed by a number of intensive SimPlant® software training sessions, which were designed for all levels of users and were appreciated by many of the participants. During the afternoon sessions, interactive workshops provided a terrific practical insight in the whole process from scanning and planning to guided implant placement, to the ultimate Immediate Smile®. Delegates got answers on questions such as “how is a scan prosthesis made” and “what are the differences between CT&CBCT scanners and what are the requirements for a good scan”. Several CBCT scanners were demonstrated by the respective manufacturers. Treatment planning skills were practiced with real patient cases and practical sessions with all of Materialise Dental’s partners’ surgical kits combined with genuine SAFE SurgiGuide drill guides taught how surprises can be eliminated when drilling and placing implants.
On this occasion, the newest software version SimPlant® 12 was equally introduced. This version of SimPlant® has been extended with the Next Innovation SurgiGuide® drill guide tool. This tool enables the clinicians to generate a reliable preview of their patient’s SurgiGuide® before they order it, which significantly improves communication between the clinician and the manufacturer. If they obtained a FastTrack Certified planning file from a certified processing partner, they can even do the full design of the patient’s SurgiGuide® exactly as it will be manufactured. Besides having full control over the SurgiGuide® geometry, this also allows the clinician to enjoy a shorter delivery time.
Bob Driessen, Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon at the Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis (Red Cross Hospital) in Beverwijk, The Netherlands: “Considering the fact that we have a mere three months of experience using SimPlant® at our OMS practice, I decided to start with the very basics by following two beginner level SimPlant® software training sessions, namely “Treatment planning session: getting started” and “From CT data to 3D data: getting started”. These were excellent courses, accompanied by good support and coaching. Nearly everything was easy to understand, even for someone like me who is not so much into software. I found it particularly great that the training sessions could be conducted with our own individual notebooks and that we got the newest version of the software installed before the training started. The one thing that really became clear to me was the possibility to adequately plan difficult cases, such as for example a fibular transplant in mandibular reconstructions in tumor patients. Another thing I found out was that communication with the prosthodontist with regard to the suprastructure is much easier thanks to the View module which allows to share treatment plans with colleagues. Also, during intensive hands-on training sessions I could see that the SimPlant® system is straightforward and hassle-free and will result in a more efficient and profitable practice. Surgeons have their own preferred brand protocols, so the technology was designed to be compatible with all implants and CT scanners which I do like about the concept. Finally, SimPlant® is a wonderful extension of our CBCT scanner, making (pre-) implant surgery more understandable for patients and enabling a clearer explanation about what kind of treatment is or is not possible.”
Helena Grošelj, private periodontist, and assoc. prof. Dušan Grošelj, periodontist at the Ljubljana University Faculty of Medicine in Slovenia, were the first clinicians in Slovenia to ever use SimPlant® software to treat patients. SimPlant® software training sessions are particularly useful to them: “We bought SimPlant® Pro in 2004 and because we were the first ones in Slovenia to use this software, we had no other clinicians in our country to turn to when we had questions about the technology. Materialise Dental however has always been quick in helping us, and in 2005 for example we attended a SimPlant® software training at their headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. This proved very useful to us, and we try to attend as many courses and trainings - such as the SimPlant® Academy World Conference training sessions – as we deem necessary, in order to remain informed about new developments. We liked the training sessions at this year’s conference because it gave us the possibility to work hands-on, ask questions and receive immediate feedback. We have been using SimPlant® Pro for some years now, and every day we are baffled by all the beneficial features of SimPlant® analyzing a case and planning implants. Not only does this technology offer a high level of precision and predictability, it also offers a way to conduct minimally invasive surgery, which significantly reduces post-operative pain, swelling, ecchymosis and healing time. In our opinion, we definitely do not want to go back to the classical approach of manual implantology only, where patients have to endure far more pain and go through a much longer healing time.”
Jan Sampermans, Practice Manager at Cosmident in Lier, Belgium, and Arseus Dental Group Consultant for 3D imaging hardware and software, and Marco Tudts, DDS, MScD, Specialist in Esthetical Dentistry and founder of Cosmident, compare the SimPlant® planning software with experienced architects that plan every little detail in advance: “In our practice we use a lot of 3D guided surgery, which made it nice for us to attend a SimPlant® conference to get the latest information on this technology. In our practice, we have our own CBCT scanner and combined with SimPlant® Pro this gives us incredibly precise and predictable results in surgery. This means that the surgeon can go into the O.R. with perfect knowledge of the anatomical structures. No more surprises. For the patients it is really comforting to get the precise details of their surgery in advance. You could compare this to different architects designing your house. There’s the type of architect that comes into your building, looks at it from a distance, and roughly drafts on a piece of paper where the walls, ceilings and pipes are going to go, and then tells you that “Everything is going to be fine, trust me…”. You also have other architects that measure every little corner of your building, put all of their time into planning every little detail and then send you an incredibly detailed plan that blows your mind. SimPlant® combined with our CBCT scanner is exactly like that, and the sessions and workshops at the SimPlant® Academy World Conference only confirmed this point of view. SimPlant® really enables the dentist to tell their patient in detail what they can expect, what their anatomy looks like, what pitfalls are to be avoided and what the exact cost of surgery is going to be. Even from a prosthetic point of view we can plan abutments and crowns before even touching the patient. This is a giant leap in technology and a great help in marketing our practice and informing our patients. At the SimPlant® Academy World Conference - as experienced SimPlant® and CBCT users - , we were especially interested in hearing how other practices and surgeons have taken advantage of these new technologies, what their experiences with different imaging modalities are and what the future will bring. We saw some real works of art in surgery and prosthetic work that would not have been possible without the “exact” guidance of implants. In the sessions called “Treatment planning session: next level” and “From CT data to 3D: next level”, we learned how to use the advanced planning applications and how to easily create sophisticated 3D images with advanced segmentation techniques, as well as many new tricks and features that we did not use before or did not take full advantage of. We came home anxious to try out all the new things we had learned. Overall, it was a great success for us and we cannot wait until next time to be blown away again. Great speakers, great atmosphere, an amazing product and a modest, professional and dedicated company. What do you want more? We at Cosmident are proud to call Materialise Dental one of our privileged partners!”
The Friday training sessions and workshops were finally concluded with an exquisite dinner at the Palais Pallavicini, a beautiful classical style palace which was constructed in the eighteenth century and is situated in the center of Vienna. The comfortable and relaxed setting invited Materialise Dental and its guests to reflect on an intensive but fruitful day.
Key Opinion Leaders Sharing Their Thoughts on 3D Digital Dentistry
Whereas the first day was dedicated to interactive software training sessions and workshops, impressive lectures by various key opinion leaders marked the second day of the World Conference in Vienna.
Moderator Dr. Elmar Frank, Director of the SimPlant® Academy in German-speaking countries, guided the audience and lecturers through a series of four different themes. The first round of lectures touched the subject of the interdisciplinary approach of 3D Digital Dentistry. Prof. Dr. Ignace Naert and Prof. Dr. Marc Quirynen from the K.U.Leuven, Belgium, held a tandem presentation on “3D Digital Dentistry to optimize patient care”. A second tandem presentation on “The interaction between an orthodontist and an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon in an orthognathic surgery: a case planning with SimPlant® OMS, 3D Dento-Facial-Planner,” was held by Drs. Herman de Jonghe from The Netherlands and Drs. Nico Vrijens from Belgium.
The second round of lectures was all about widening the scope with regard to virtual bone augmentation. George Mandelaris, DDS, MS, talked about “Sinus floor augmentation in the atrophic maxilla: a novel approach using guided surgery with and without simultaneous implant placement”, Dr. med. dent. Andreas Kullmann touched the subject of “Bone augmentation based on advanced 3D printing technology”.
The third round of lectures was about predictable esthetic planning. Dr. Dr. Steffen Hohl from Germany held a lecture about “High end restorations – predictability through virtual planning”, while Ashok Sethi, BDS, presented his lecture on “Aesthetics: predicting improved outcomes with better imaging modalities and guided surgery”.
In the final round of lectures, two other experts went deeper into the subject of facilitating the decision making process for immediate loading through virtual imaging. Dr. med. dent. Frank Spiegelberg from Germany talked about “Immediate Smile® following implant placement in immediate extraction sites”, and Michael Block, DMD, from the United States provided the icing on the cake by lecturing on “Immediate provisionalisation in partially edentulous cases – how to avoid complications”.
In between the different lectures, speakers from universities and private practices in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey presented their innovative abstracts which had been selected by the scientific committee. The key opinion leaders that made up this scientific committee were Scott Ganz, DMD, Prof. Dr. Ignace Naert, Michael R. Norton, BDS, Ashok Sethi, BDS, Prof. Dr. Alberto Sicilia and Prof. Dr. Werner Zechner. Prior to the World Conference, they had the strenuous task of selecting six top abstracts pertaining to not only research topics involving computer guided dentistry with SimPlant® but also to the description of extraordinary patient cases which had been treated with the aid of SimPlant® technology.