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A touch of Bollywood - Asia Pacific KOL Meeting

Swiss dental specialist COLTENE is not the only one to make the big leap: at the 1st Asia-Pacific Key Opinion Leader Symposium, 150 dental experts from 20 nations discussed the megatrends in dentistry. What dentists and dental technicians worldwide can learn from the rapid growth of the Asian Tiger States was highlighted by leading international dentists, scientists and inventors in an exciting and inspiring exchange of experiences.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 14-15 July – From China to Australia, from India to the Philippines: the topics of the 1st Asia-Pacific Key Opinion Leader Symposium in Malaysia were as colourful as the field of participants. Innovation leader COLTENE brought together dental specialists from different countries to discuss the future of dentistry with industry leaders. The inspirational meeting was appropriately hosted by that part of the global dental market which according to U.S. observers, is expected to show the fastest growth rates until 2022* The reason being the rapidly growing population and the simultaneous rise in incomes, coupled with an increasingly awakening awareness of oral health and aesthetic dentistry among individuals.

Against the spectacular backdrop of the metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, CEO Martin Schaufelberger first explained the equally ambitious plans of the Swiss dental specialist COLTENE. True to the motto "Upgrade Dentistry", strategically important alliances with the Canadian SciCan Ltd. and the French-based MicroMega SA were recently announced for the rest of the year. Since its foundation, the internationally successful COLTENE group of companies has been growing continuously. With the planned acquisitions and its active research and development activities, the manufacturer is once again preparing itself for future challenges in the highly competitive dental market.

"As an innovation-driven supplier, we bring together creative minds and opinion leaders worldwide for the practical solutions of tomorrow. This enables us to supply top quality across the globe to everyone who enjoys working proficiently, efficiently and safely. This always keeps us one step ahead of potential imitators," promises Schaufelberger.

Resto Day: Japanese Senpai and aesthetic preferences in the land of the rising sun

For interested gerontologists, a look at the Far East is worthwhile in two ways: traditionally, respect for the elderly (literally: "senpai") is an integral part of Japanese culture. And already 23 per cent of the population are over 65 years old, tendency: rising. Thus the comparatively elderly island state is the ideal model for the ageing societies of Europe to predict future trends and the needs of a "more established" clientele.

"By 2050, we can perhaps assume a medically possible life expectancy of up to 130 years," postulates Prof. Dr. Ivo Krejci, patron of the theme day on restorative dentistry.

Unfortunately, from an evolutionary point of view, the human masticatory apparatus is designed for a maximum life expectancy of 30 years. The Director of the Department of Preventive Dentistry and Primary Dental Care at the University of Geneva therefore advocates comprehensive, individual prevention concepts as permanent support for the increasing number of recurring patients. In Switzerland, the phenomenon of an ageing clientele is well known. Sensitisation to optimal oral hygiene by the personal "Dental Coach" continues to offer the best protection against the "caries epidemic" before secondary measures such as surface sealing or minimally invasive procedures need to be performed.

In her comparison of analogue and digital "SmileDesign" design examples, local dentist Dr. Nurul Huda Hasan showed how aesthetic ideas influence the work of the dentist in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore. The case of a 24-year-old female patient clearly illustrates that automated scans and computer simulations can nowadays considerably accelerate and facilitate the fabrication and consultation process, however, the modelling of composite with the freehand technique after a classical wax up certainly has its charm and is sometimes chosen by the patient as being the more natural-looking alternative in a direct comparison. In other words: technical aids make everyday practice easier, but they are not a substitute for manual and creative skills. Anyone who chooses a high-performance composite such as BRILLIANT EverGlow, will continue to have all design options in the future due to the inherent gloss of the material and the convenient modelling properties - irrespective of the individual technical realisation of the restoration.

Incidentally, the same view is also held by the authority on design, Dr. Roberto Spreafico. The celebrated author and course instructor demonstrated his outstanding creative skills live on site and trained his international colleagues in the fine art of restoration. The owner of a private practice near Milan made a "bella figura" both with the application needle and silicone polisher as well as when configuring composition-based CAD/CAM blocks. Appropriate adhesive bonding with a matched universal bond enables the creation of a long-lasting result with modern composites, one which is in no way inferior optically to ceramics, but gives the patient a much more natural chewing sensation due to the dentine-like modulus of elasticity.

COLTENE restoration expert J?rg Weis provided the Key Opinion Leaders with initial, exclusive insights into previously unpublished studies on the use and appropriate fixation of composite CAD/CAM blocks such as BRILLIANT Crios. Misleading product designations by some manufacturers, such as "hybrid" or "composite ceramics", still tempt users to partially adopt the wrong fixation strategy. Modern high-performance composites, in any form, should always be adhesively fixated. To create a reliable adhesive bond, blasting with corundum is recommended, followed by the application of a matched universal bond with acid group-bearing methacrylates and neutral mono and difunctional methacrylates. Correctly applied, specially formulated composite ultimately scores with all the advantages that have been known for decades from classical filling therapy.

The Resto Theme Day of the Far Eastern Symposium was rounded off by a host of practical application case studies and clinical examples. Dr. Lie Yoon Zhen (better known to insiders under the pseudonym Dr. Jimmy) and Dr. Liu Jingjin, co-founder of the Zhizhen Dental Clinic, China, demonstrated the versatility and wide range of applications of the "all-rounder composite" based on selected case documentations.

The delegation from India, the largest in terms of numbers, added a touch of Bollywood during the two-day congress with a cinematic flash mob on the speaker's stage: The charming dance performance landed a surprise, in particular due to its passionate and extremely skilful presentation. At the inspiring summit meetings of Swiss dental expert COLTENE, it has meanwhile become a cherished tradition that not only the specialist lectures sweep the enthusiastic audience off its feet...

Endo Day: into the curve with verve, and proceed with feeling

A special degree of dexterity is required in the Punjabi folk dances, as it is in the skilful use of pre-bendable nickel-titanium files in modern endodontics. But what is the exact difference between "Controlled Memory" and "Shape Memory"? Dr. Barbara Müller, Manager of the Endodontics Business Unit at COLTENE, shed some light on the thicket of the almost endless NiTi jungle in her opening presentation focussing on endodontics. As an absolute pioneer in the development of flexible files with a controlled recovery effect, COLTENE has been dealing with the differences between plastic-irreversible and elastic, but useful deformability of metallurgical materials and alloys for over a decade. "CM" files like the models of the HyFlex series can be pre-bent similar to classic stainless steel files, but after autoclaving they take on their clearly visible original shape for reuse and move safely in the centre of the root canal. In less affluent societies such as India or Indonesia, reliable precision instruments that can be quickly and easily reprocessed are true miracle weapons. In addition, the special finishing technique results in an extremely break-proof yet flexible file.

Following his scientific presentation on the design differences in current NiTi systems, Prof. Dr. Hyeon-Cheol Henry Kim, Vice Dean of the Pusan National University School of Dentistry, South Korea, discussed which forces act on rotary files at which point. Whereas other treatment errors and incidents can often be corrected quickly by using the technical aids now available on the market, fractures still represent a serious treatment risk. Depending on the system, more or less tooth substance is sacrificed, and therefore the choice of instruments has an indirect effect on the potential success of the therapy.

As a master of his profession in the expert handling of the delicate files, Prof. Dr. Eugenio Pedullà from the University of Catania once again demonstrated the "happy medium" between minimally invasive, substance-friendly preparation and sufficient pre-flaring to create an optimal access. As existing microcracks can make life difficult for the endo-expert even before the start of treatment, he dealt in depth with cyclic fatigue fractures as well as the respective torsional forces acting in heavily worn endo files and the behaviour of various systems during reprocessing during his many years of research.

This year's Greek chairman of the endo panel, Dr. Antonis Chaniotis, also explored the limits of what is technically feasible with great skill and tact. In his refined tactile procedure (referred to in the literature in short as TCA technique), the experienced practitioner only activates the rotary NiTi file after marked resistance provides the dentist with an indication of the exact anatomical path of the canal. With dabbing movements, he works his way step by step through the steepest of double curves with great certainty and even overcomes unbelievable 90 degree angles with flying colours.

Prof. Dr. Seok Woo Chang of the Kyung Hee University School of Dentistry in Seoul revealed how the perfectly shaped root canal can ultimately be obturated. Using MTA (Mineral Trioxide Aggregate, or better known as modified, high-purity Portland cement), various defects can sometimes be covered very well, but the handling often leaves a lot to be desired. Furthermore, the risk of an unsightly grey tint, especially with anterior restorations, should not be underestimated. A thixotropic restorative material that flows easily into the lateral region plays an important role with regard to the question of maximum possible preservation of substance during preparation. Cold filling systems based on gutta percha also form a reliable edge seal to the gutta percha pin. 3-in-1 obturation materials such as GuttaFlow bioseal also have bioactive properties that specifically support the regeneration process in the root canal through the formation of hydroxyapatite upon contact with body fluids. The decisive factor here too is what "comes in" in the end.

Worldwide know-how for the practical solutions of tomorrow

Not only the endodontics experts present discussed the further development of their specialist field between renewable pulp tissue and instrument-free, affordable reprocessing systems. COLTENE's top-secret research laboratories are already developing new, innovative solutions to problems for the everyday treatment of tomorrow. Maybe the first product highlights will already be presented at the next KOL meeting of the Swiss dental specialist in North America, which dentists can then test in detail at the IDS 2019 in Cologne at the latest. If you want to find out about the latest developments in the dental world, you may get a lot of practical tips and information for the clever use of the versatile dental materials and treatment aids from the COLTENE Newsletter (http://newsletter.coltene.com). Whether the congress will dance again in the USA in mid-September is not yet known - but it will certainly prove to be an exciting event for opinion leaders and the pioneers of aesthetic dentistry.

* Source: Renub Research (Roswell)