360° Regeneration at Osteology Frankfurt

The National Osteology Symposium in Germany was held for the 6th time. 390 participants travelled to the “Kap Europa” in Frankfurt for the event on 20 April 2018, to inform themselves about the latest findings on oral tissue regeneration in workshops, discussions and presentations.

Under the title 360° Regeneration, the congress chairmen, Professor Frank Schwarz and Professor Robert Sader, had put together an exciting programme which covered all facets of oral tissue regeneration, as well as providing the attending clinicians with important information for their day-to-day work in practice.

Scientific programme and exciting discussions

In the main programme on Friday, different perspectives were deliberately compared in the individual sessions, which led to sometimes controversial and extremely exciting discussions - both between the speakers, but also between the audience and the panel.

The first session dealt with the pros and cons of biomaterials. After Professor Franz-Josef Kramer had given an overview of the various materials on the market and briefly addressed the respective advantages and disadvantages, Professor Bilal Al-Nawas spoke in favour of the use of bone replacement materials, whereas Professor Henrik Terheyden spoke primarily in favour of using autologous bone. However, all three speakers agreed that allogeneic bone substitutes should ideally be avoided, both because of the risk of disease transmission, although none has been demonstrated to date, and also because of the immune response to remaining proteins. Professor Terheyden also pointed out that this could possibly preclude patients from having an organ transplant at a later date, as HLA sensitisation through the use of allografts has been demonstrated in several studies.

The second session focussed on the question as to which scaffold is suitable for which indication. Professor Katja Nelson spoke about pre-fabricated scaffolds which have to be adapted to the defect, Dr. Keyvan Sagheb about customised scaffolds, which among others included the customised new titanium mesh, and Professor Shahram Ghanaati spoke about biologic scaffolds, whereby he mainly addressed PRF (Platelet Rich Fibrin) and the low speed centrifugation concept.

The third session focussed on the topic of soft tissue augmentation. Here, too, controversial views prevailed: PD Dr. Daniel Thoma first spoke pro soft tissue replacement, while Professor Gerhard Iglhaut spoke pro autogenous or allogeneic materials. In the end, the discussion was not too controversial, as the two speakers agreed that there are advantages and disadvantages for each material and that non-autogenous soft tissue transplants are not inferior to autogenous transplants in certain situations, but then have the advantage that patient morbidity is significantly reduced. A consensus was reached in that the choice of the best material always depends on the situation and indication.

The fourth and last session, which, despite the late afternoon and the fine weather, was still well attended, was dedicated to the title of the congress: 360° Regeneration. Professor Stefan Fickl first discussed how periodontal regeneration can preserve teeth and where the limitations are, namely prosthetic requirements as well as massive furcation defects. He also emphasised that non-surgical treatment is also extremely important, and may in many cases be sufficient to save even a hopeless tooth.

PD Dr. Dietmar Weng then spoke about alveolar ridge augmentation, which allows various treatment options, such as a bridge or implantation. Even if the buccal bone is intact and immediate implant placement is possible, he advocated filling the buccal gap between bone and implant with bone replacement material. Professor Markus Schlee finally spoke about implant removal and tissue regeneration before Dr. Paul Weigl turned to the topic of conventional prosthetic alternatives.

Seven practical workshops

The first day was dominated by seven different practical workshops, which were held in the morning and afternoon, in other words repeated, so that the participants had the opportunity to participate in two courses in succession. Two of the workshops were organised by the Osteology Foundation itself, the others by the founding partner Geistlich Biomaterials.

In one of the Osteology Workshops, Professor Shahram Ghanaati dealt with PRF and its practical application in practice, including blood collection, centrifugation and the use of the obtained liquid and solid PRF. In the other Osteology Workshop by Professor Anton Sculean, the participants learned about the coverage of single and multiple recessions in plastic surgery.

Focus on science

In addition to the workshops, the Research Forum also took place on the first day. Professor Schwarz, who moderated the forum, explained that one of the goals of the Osteology Foundation is to provide a platform for science and to support current research. Dr. Jonas Lorenz first spoke about biomaterial development and laboratory research, while Professor Schwarz discussed the relevance of clinical research. Dr. Birgit Schäfer added the industry perspective and spoke about biomaterial development and the path from the initial idea to being ready-for-market.

Eight young scientists then presented their basic and clinical research work and competed for the Osteology Research Prize with their presentations. The winners, announced in the main programme on Saturday, were Dr. Kathrin Becker and Sarah Al-Maawi.

A forum for practice

At the same time, speakers at the Practice Forum dealt with topics of practical relevance. This included both regenerative therapy concepts in practice, but also regulatory aspects, emergencies, as well as legal aspects.

A successful further education event

The participants and speakers were enthusiastic about the event and the high quality of the programme. The fact that the Osteology Symposia are also always an important place to meet colleagues from the field of oral regeneration became clear during the lively discussions during the breaks and the joint get-together in the industrial exhibition in the evening.

We can already look forward to next year's international congress of the Osteology Foundation, which will take place from 25-27 April 2019 in Barcelona under the title «THE NEXT reGENERATION» and promises education, science and networking at the highest level. The programme is already available online at www.osteology-barcelona.org.