The recent Perio Master Clinic 2020 held on 6-7 March at the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin was a huge success. The conference unveiled the latest advances made in periodontal regeneration, which is widely seen as the “holy grail” in periodontal and peri-implant therapy as it is the key in helping to preserve the dentition healthy and functional for the patient’s whole lifetime.
Organised by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), Perio Master Clinic 2020 brought together world experts in this field to share with dental clinicians their latest techniques to tackle aesthetic regeneration, an area that represents the ultimate challenge for dentists and periodontists.
“This was the only major international conference of its kind this year that provided a complete overview of the latest in regenerative procedures,” highlights Declan Corcoran, chair of Perio Master Clinic 2020.
Among the practical questions Perio Master Clinic 2020 addressed were how to deal with single- and multiple-tooth gingival recessions, which type of bone graft is preferable, how to choose the optimal flap design and suturing technique, and how to execute the techniques involved in lateral and vertical bone augmentation.
“Today we are pretty successful in restoring gingival tissue around teeth but to become equally successful in winning back alveolar bone support for the teeth is another story. We are witnessing great improvements in surgical techniques and there are significant developments in biologics and, down the line, in stem-cell research – all of which will help us to regenerate the bone and gingivae in the oral cavity in order to improve oral health and the quality of life for our patients.” Dr Corcoran adds.
Predictable tissue regeneration is possible
“As life expectancy is extended, our patients need to maintain their masticatory function and aesthetics for a longer period of time,” explains Professor Anton Sculean, scientific chair of Perio Master Clinic 2020. “Thus, tooth maintenance becomes extremely important not only to ensure function and aesthetics, but also to minimise the costs related to the extensive reconstructions that are necessary in the event of loss of teeth and associated hard and soft tissues.”
“Advances in translational and clinical research mean that we now have the possibility to retain teeth which only some years ago would have been deemed non-maintainable,” Prof Sculean notes. “Today we have at our disposal the biologic understanding, the surgical techniques, and the biomaterials that can lead to predictable regeneration – in some cases complete regeneration, the so-called restitutio ad integrum or healing of soft and hard tissues around teeth and implants that were previously lost because of periodontitis or peri-implantitis,“ he says. “Not so long ago, such results were not even contemplated. A thorough diagnosis, an appropriate treatment plan, and the attainment of proper surgical skills are the essential elements needed to make this a reality.”
Prof Sculean notes that clinicians already have the knowledge and skills to predictably treat periodontitis and to arrest its progression. But “complete reversal of the damage caused by periodontitis is only possible in certain well-defined situations and it is essential for the clinician to understand in which cases these regenerative procedures can be successfully performed and how.”