Osteology meets DGI

The 30th Congress of the DGI in November hosted a well-attended joint session of the Osteology Foundation and the DGI. Young scientists and practitioners from both partners prepared the programme and illustrated the important role of regeneration in implantology, and of the interface between science and practice. It became abundantly clear that including the young generation is the key to the future.


"Implantology does not stop at borders", stated Frank Schwarz, Düsseldorf, President of the German Society for Implantology (DGI) at the press conference held at the 30th Congress of the Society. The congress was held from 24–26 November 2016 in Hamburg. For this reason, the DGI has embarked on numerous collaborations, for example, with universities as well with independent, internationally operating organisations, such as the Osteology Foundation.

"The promotion of independent training in oral regeneration and the transfer of scientific insights into dental practice is one of the core tasks of the Osteology Foundation", said Mariano Sanz, President of the Osteology Foundation, at the press conference. "Because without proper training, many things will not work in oral regeneration", so Sanz.

"Which is why the Osteology Foundation is extremely interested in such collaborations", he continued. By bundling forces one could reach many more interested practitioners and deliver more and better training. "The Osteology Foundation has therefore started to identify the most important associations worldwide and to strive for collaborations, such as with the DGI."

Schwarz, who is not only President of the DGI but also on the board of the Osteology Foundation, agreed with Sanz and underlined how he was personally delighted that this collaboration now exists.

Both collaboration partners have a focus on the young generation and believe in promoting clinical and scientific young talent. It was therefore only natural to place the joint session into the hands of this next generation and to request the Expert Council of the Osteology Foundation together with the DGI NextE Generation with the development of the programme.

The result was an excellent programme under the leadership of two promising upcoming practitioners and scientists: Christian Schmitt, Erlangen, and Ilja Mihatovic, Düsseldorf.

The joint session under the motto "Science meets everyday practice" was very well attended. Some 450 delegates virtually filled the hall, despite the competition of a parallel session at the same time in the main auditorium. It seems obvious that there is great interest in issues surrounding the topic of oral regeneration, and the right topic seems to have been selected, especially one that appeals to young scientists and practitioners.

Schwarz was delighted by the tremendous interest and again confirmed the success of such collaborations in his opening speach of the joint session, before passing on to Schmitt who first presented the new online platform of the Osteology Foundation, THE BOX. THE BOX offers information, tools and the opportunity of networking with scientists and practitioners worldwide and is directed mainly, but not exclusively, at the young generation.

The joint session was opened by Reinhard Gruber from Vienna. In an entertaining but at the same time also highly scientific manner he spoke about the topic of bone metabolism. This way, he was more than successful in gaining the attention of the practitioners in explaining the highly complex cell-biological processes of bone regeneration.

In his presentation, Gruber discussed the following issues and provided science-based answers in as far as was possible within the time restraints: "The histology of bone conversion" (conversion through osteoclasts and osteoblasts),"Where do the cells for bone conversion come from?" (from the blood vessels, periosteum and endosteum), "How is bone conversion controlled?" (osteocyte-controlled via RANKL & sclerostin),"How about osteoporosis?“ (imbalance in bone conversion, antiresorptives with the risk of jaw necrosis), and "How does inflammation affect bone conversion?" (impaired conversion balance: osteoblasts are suppressed).

Daniel Buser, Berne, spoke on the topic of "Surgical factors for the long-term success of implants". Mihatovic stated it was an honour for him to introduce Buser and that he was looking forward very much to his presentation.

Buser fully met the high expectations and shared his considerable experience of many years with the audience. In his top quality and well received presentation he mentioned the following factors for long-term success:

  • Meticulous therapy planning which also takes into account the individual risk profile of the patient, particularly in complex cases.
  • The selection of implants and biomaterials which have been scientifically investigated and with confirmed efficacy. Buser expressly warned about cheap imports from Asia, where impurities have been proven.
  • The exclusive use of evidence-based treatment methods and surgical techniques which focus on high predictability and a low risk of complications.
  • The correct 3D position of the implant with good primary stability.
  • Complete embedding of the implant in the bone with a minimum thickness of more than 1 mm, otherwise bone build-up (GBR).
  • Good tissue conditions, with a broad band of keratinised mucosa, otherwise soft tissue augmentation.
  • The correct loading protocol, whereby Buser mentions "Early Loading" as preferred method.

The third speaker was Bilal Al-Nawas, Mainz. He examined the topic of "Augmentation methods" and presented numerous approaches in various indications, together with the scientific evidence, resulting in a comprehensive and highly interesting overview of the subject.

Al-Nawas pointed out that there has been a paradigm shift in GBR, and that one meanwhile presumes that GBR is not only exclusively about occlusion but that other factors, such as stabilisation, also play a major role. He stressed that Christer Dahlin, one of the "fathers" of GBR, meanwhile also shares this opinion, as he recently read in an article.

The considerable interest in the symposium was also reflected by the stimulating discussions that followed. Many questions were raised, partly live on site, but also online via THE BOX. Unfortunately, time was limited so that the discussion had to be ended despite further questions.

The collaboration proved to be a major success, one from which all sides benefitted – in particular the young practitioners. Voices have already been raised to please continue this cooperation at the next congress.