When Peter Brehm stands to welcome delegates to Bredent’s group days, the conference theatre at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin falls quiet. There’s a real sense of expectancy and excitement in the air. Dentists and dental technicians from around the world anticipate something special.
They’re not about to be disappointed.
Peter, Bredent’s CEO, has an unashamed love and enthusiasm for dentistry. This very rapidly communicates itself to an audience of more than 800 delegates as it prepares itself for three days of learning and sharing, hosted by one of the most progressive and innovative dental companies in the world. Formed in 1974 and based in Senden, Germany, Bredent is still a family run company, with family-based values. Today the company operates in 90 countries and has 173 distributors worldwide. In Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and France it sells direct to dentists.
The conference ran from 22 May to 24 May with plenary conference sessions in the morning and excellence courses and workshops in the afternoon. Presentations were given by some of the world’s leading experts in surgical implantology, implant prosthetics and conventional prosthetics.
A passion shared
Colleagues who consistently seek to find the innovatory, cutting-edge solutions that keep Bredent ahead of its competitors share Peter Brehm’s passion for perfect implant prosthetic solutions. Not surprisingly, the speakers themselves picked up and reflected the company’s desire to solve problems and find better solutions. As Gerald Micko, Bredent’s CEO put it: ‘Ultimately we want the patient to be completely happy, and this can only happen if we are in a position to consistently deliver products that are not only manufactured to uncompromising standards, but are able to anticipate and solve problems.’
Thus, whilst the conference was celebrating Bredent’s 40th anniversary, there was little, if any, desire to delve back into the past. Instead the speakers focused on a number of key issues that are very much ‘of today’. These included: biofilm management, the new materials that are moving aesthetics forward, digital workflow and the Sky Fast & Fixed same day restoration implant procedure.
‘What particularly impressed me,’ said Mark Willings, a dentist attending from Leeds, ‘was the amount of thought that had gone into giving the conference continuity. All the major subjects were covered in depth, but from different angles. All three days were informative and motivating.’
One of the highlights was the range of excellence courses run on the second and third days. Dr Domenico Massironi focused on the main prosthetic aspects of working with higher levels of magnification to improve precision and aesthetics; Professor Dr Anton Sculean covered photodynamic therapy in the treatment of periodontal and peri-implant infections; Dr Georg Bayer and Dr Stephan Adler explained the Fast & Fixed concept in detail; and Dr David Garber outlined the biological, aesthetic and clinical factors that allow clinicians to eliminate the waiting period for implant loading, without sacrificing predictable osseointegration, whilst simultaneously enhancing aesthetics.
Whilst these courses were running, specialist workshops were also taking place for clinicians and technicians.
Dental technician, Preyesh Khatatari from Turner & Goldrich Dental Lab in St John’s Wood, attended workshops on both days, ‘It’s always interesting to listen to others who are pretty much doing a similar job to yours,’ he felt, ‘and if you do listen, you learn. I certainly left Berlin with some new techniques I want to try.’
Photodynamic therapy proved to be one of the real ‘hot topics’ at the conference. The basic principle was easy to understand. It has already been established that low-level laser exposure, aids wound healing. Now there are clear indications that photodynamic therapy (PDT) could be an adjunctive antimicrobial approach for preventive and therapeutic treatment without the disadvantages of antibiotics.
The treatment can be used for periodontal and endodontic biofilm management. The therapy utilises a photosensitising agent, which is irradiated with a low-level laser to a wavelength that matches the absorption spectrum of the agent. The subsequent photochemical reaction results in an oxygen-mediated reduction of pathogenic bacteria.
With increasing concerns about resistance to antibiotics, the potential for PDT in the treatment of periodontal disease, peri-implantitis and bone necrosis, for example, was not lost on anyone. The point was made that, whilst there are a number of photosensitising agents on the market, only Helbo, with a proven capability, was recommended.
Aesthetics, materials and technologies
At the heart of the conference was a collective desire to learn and improve. Thus, there was keen interest in hearing about new materials and their capabilities.
On the first day of the conference Dr Neil Cooper, who practices in Cumbria and Harley Street, presented his experiences in using a material relatively new to the UK. Peek (Biohpp) was first developed in the early 1960s by Dupont, but its use in the fabrication of dental restorations is a relatively new innovation. Throughout the conference, presenters continued to extol the virtues of Peek, explaining its functionality and its potential for improved aesthetics.
Peek is a semi-crystalline material that offers patient biocompatibility, flexibility close to the bone, no metal in the mouth, patient discolouration stability, no corrosion and a range of applications. Clinicians and technicians from a number of countries endorsed Neil Cooper’s enthusiasm, who demonstrated that Peek can overcome such problems as chipping and produce optimum aesthetic results.
The increasing importance of digital techniques in dentistry and dental technology was also fully addressed by a number of experienced speakers. Their presentations discussed such issues as: better planning and simulation using 3D technology; the role of digital workflow in communicating with and supporting the dental team; benefits for patients; opportunities for dental laboratories and the co-ordination and optimisation of the various processes and procedures.
Sky Fast & Fixed same day implants
Naturally enough, Sky Fast & Fixed was ‘top of the bill’ in Berlin and every subject covered throughout the conference related wholly or in-part to some aspect of its same day/immediate loading protocol.
Many in attendance had firsthand knowledge and/or experience of the procedure, but were still keen to hear of new innovations that would result in an improved patient experience. In fact Dr Stephan Ryssel reminded everyone very early on that Fast & Fixed could be judged a true success only if it were communicated clearly and its benefits fully understood by patients. Stephan told the audience that he followed a seven stage introductory process with patients:
- Address and establish the patient’s fundamental needs
- Create interest
- Show negative situations as a preparation for
- Showing positive solutions
- Show other less favourable solutions
- Summarise the life changing benefits
- Confirm the patient’s choice.
A number of presentations, excellence courses and workshops confirmed the worldwide success of Sky Fast & Fixed. Experienced users explained how the treatment could be successfully implemented and become a real driving force behind practice growth.
In addition to the presentations and workshops, expert advice and guidance was available at individual stands. Clinicians and technicians were particularly keen to discuss Sky Plan X, Bredent’s 3D computer assisted planning software, its advantages and its importance for safety, aesthetics and efficiency. Technicians were regular visitors to the Visiolign stand, exchanging tips and learning more about the veneering system that comprises multi-layer veneers for lifelike teeth with custom shade characterisation, accessory materials and a bonding system in perfectly matched shades.
To sum it up
The conference was a master class. It was brilliantly organised, the catering was superb and the speakers were excellent, in many cases inspirational. Above all, everyone left knowing a good deal more than they knew when they arrived. Gerald Micko summed it up like this: ‘Bredent is still a family business. It prides itself on being open, fair, friendly and on its ability to solve problems.’ And nobody at the Bredent group days would take issue with any of that.
For more information please visit www.bredent.co.uk, telephone: 01246 559599 or email: [email protected]