“I would definitely do it again”

Flávia Matarazzo from Brazil entered the Osteology network by joining the Osteology Research Academy in Rio de Janeiro 2017. She talks about her experiences with the Foundation – how she has developed both professionally and personally and where she stands today.

Flávia is currently an Associate Professor at the Dentistry Department at the State University of Maringá, where she has been working as a periodontics teacher and researcher in peri-implant diseases for the past ten years. For the last four years she has been a member of the Osteology Foundation. Today, Flávia tells more about the time she first heard about the Foundation four years ago, and how the Foundation has supported her since then.

“The most important eye-opener in my career was…”

“…the Osteology Research Academy in Rio de Janeiro 2017.” “This event was my first contact with the Foundation,” Flávia remembers. Maurício Araújo is one of Flávia’s colleagues in Maringá and coordinated the Osteology Research Academy in Rio de Janeiro 2017. Maurício Araújo had introduced Flávia to the Osteology Foundation. 

She particularly enjoyed the way the course was organised. “The rich content helped me to realise where we stood in terms of research, and what we needed to do to overcome the existing gaps. As an immediate consequence of the course, I set up two new disciplines in the postgraduate programme. I believe this has been important for expanding knowledge among my students,” she says confidently. Also, the close contact with Maurício Araújo and Niklaus Lang and their immense generosity in sharing their knowledge was a remarkable experience. 

The first real success with the Osteology Foundation

In 2019, at the International Osteology Symposium in Barcelona, Flávia had the opportunity to present a study conducted by her research group. “We could make ourselves heard by a global audience during which we could exchange views and ideas with some of the greatest names in the field. The study Flávia presented at the Clinical Research Forum concerned the effect of adequate access to oral hygiene on marginal bone loss around implants. It was a four-year prospective cohort study. The study showed that implants that did not present proper access to hygiene developed more bone loss over time when compared to implants with proper access. The questions asked by the audience after the presentation were also very important: they gave Flávia the opportunity to clarify how she and her research group defined peri-implant access to hygiene. She proudly adds: “Thanks to the suggestions and criticisms received. I would never have dreamed of winning third place at the Clinical Research Forum with this study. The paper has been recently published in the Clinical Oral Implants Research.”

“He illuminated my work”

Flávia would like to thank some of the people she met at the Osteology Symposium Barcelona 2019. Firstly, she thanks Frank Schwarz, who illuminated her work with his questions. She also thanks Atsushi Saito, who gave her the opportunity to clarify some concepts within her work. Finally, Jan Derks, who she called over after her panel and also made some important suggestions.

 

Presentation at the International Osteology Symposium Barcelona 2019 during the Osteology Research Forum in category “Clinical Research”
Atsushi Saito, Frank Schwarz and Flávia during Q&A at the Osteology Research Forum in 2019

 

Some more memorable moments

During the International Osteology Symposium in Barcelona 2019, Flávia also participated in the peri-implantitis and soft tissue manipulation workshop. It was a great opportunity for Flávia to meet researchers she had only heard about until then and ask them questions directly. Flávia recalls with a grin: “If I could have split myself back then, I would have attended many more presentations and workshops.” Flávia adds: “It was a memorable moment to be able to share the same space with such renowned, but also generous researchers welcoming new professionals.” Immediately upon her return Flávia, applied the knowledge acquired to her undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

 

Group picture at the International Osteology Symposium Barcelona in 2019. Everyone is institutionally affiliated to State University of Maringá.
Flávia at Rambla del Mar, a tourist attraction in Barcelona

 

“I would definitely do it again”

In 2019, Flávia also got the opportunity to be a speaker at the Osteology Research Academy in Rio de Janeiro. “The experience of being on the other side as a speaker at the Osteology Research Academy Rio de Janeiro in 2019 represented a huge honour and an enormous responsibility at the same time. All because of the admiration I had for the speakers at the Osteology Research Academy 2017, in which I participated, and the high level demanded. I would never have believed it back in 2017 if I had said that one day I would become a speaker at an Osteology Research Academy myself,” she says. For Flávia, it was an important exercise in bringing together both new ideas and ideas that were applicable to the audience at the same time. She was grateful for the generosity of Niklaus Lang and Maurício Araújo who helped her to find the right balance in her lecture. “I would definitely do it again. Becoming a speaker at the Osteology Research Academy was a liberating moment for me. It showed my potential,” she adds with conviction.

Niklaus Lang and Maurício Araújo with Flávia and two master students at the Osteology Research Academy in Rio de Janeiro 2019

One more liberating moment

With all her positive experiences and developments with the Osteology Foundation so far, there was nothing stopping Flávia. She was invited to the Annual Meeting of the National Osteology Group Brazil 2019 in Recife, Brazil, as a speaker. Her lecture was about prevention and treatment of peri-implantitis.

The most relevant point of the Osteology Foundation

“Perhaps the most relevant point about the Osteology Foundation events is the free and constant interaction among researchers, allowing young and inexperienced professionals to have contact with references in the area. Moreover, it is always amazing to see experts in the area sharing their knowledge. They always do it in a very humble and generous way. They do their best every time to enrich the interactions even more.”

Flávia would recommend the Osteology Foundation to dentistry students at the very beginning of their education, to motivate them to go beyond and become more aware of their responsibilities to their patients. She would also recommend it to students and teachers who want to push beyond the conventional, as well as to those who want to get to know the world. Finally, she recommends it to those who want to dedicate themselves to research, not from a sense of obligation, but because they understand its importance to our society.

“I believe that the Osteology Foundation can offer all of that to those who choose to follow a hard and arduous, but also liberating and happy path to research. I will definitely continue to follow the Osteology Foundation and participate in many more events and pass on the knowledge I gain.”