EOS 2019: Genetics, innovation and data use for orthodontics
NICE, France: The 95th European Orthodontic Society (EOS) Congress, which took place in Nice from 17 to 22 June, engaged attendees with a varied programme of lectures by orthodontists and students, and offered them the opportunity to understand and see how to use existing and new products, including software, presented by the many companies participating in the exhibition. In addition, there was occasion to interact with company representatives and a very inviting networking programme.
American orthodontist Dr Lee W. Graber gave the 2019 Sheldon Friel Memorial Lecture, which honours the Irish orthodontics pioneer Prof. Sheldon Friel and has an associated monetary award. For Graber, “The use of innovative and futuristic technologies does not inherently make you a better practitioner; remaining in a constant search to be better actually does.” In his presentation on the future of orthodontics, he said that the focus will change from where the speciality has been regarding brackets and archwires to really looking at systems medicine, taking a holistic approach to the patient and using artificial intelligence, data and research to evaluate and make decisions in a more personalised approach to orthodontic treatment. Graber said that “artificial intelligence and machine learning will affect all areas of society”, making the world of the future a very different one. He asserted that the more data dentists have the better off they will be.
Graber explored who is regarded as the expert today, citing academic specialist on international affairs Prof. Tom Nichols: “technology exposes people to more information than ever before … today everybody knows everything”. According to Graber, the beginning of the twenty-first century saw major changes under the influence of direct consumer marketing, one of which was patients wanting to decide which treatment and systems are best for them. Through “Dr Google”, patients gain instant “expertise”, thereby changing the interaction between patients and practitioners.
Among the highlights from the main programme were the keynote lectures by Drs Anna Kari Hajati and Simon Littlewood. The take-home message in Hajati’s paper, “Lingual orthodontics and three-dimensional imaging”, was that, according to research, the market for invisible orthodontics will continue to grow and the aligner segment will continue to dominate, partially owing to the free access of information on the Internet, social media and direct marketing to consumers.
Littlewood, a world-renowned expert in orthodontic retention, presented the top ten important evidence-based factors affecting retention after orthodontic treatment. According to him, education is one of the most significant for success in instilling in patients an understanding of the importance of wearing their retainers after the completion of treatment.
In the European Journal of Orthodontics open session, Drs Björn Ludwig and Dirk Wiechmann, both researchers and practising orthodontists, gave their opinion on whether digital orthodontics should be considered as friend or foe. Ludwig stated that only 5% of dentists think aligners have limits. He said that the use of 3-D technologies can improve orthodontic practice, but it is vital to still use conventional technologies such as regular radiographs, and he believes that it is important to go beyond one’s comfort zone in pursuing excellence.
Wiechmann thinks that it is false to believe that digital orthodontics translates to requiring less effort while obtaining better results in practising orthodontics today. He explained that, in life, achieving something better, something more efficient, requires not only the right tools but also the ability to handle these. Learning to apply digital orthodontics is time-consuming, but Wiechmann does not think it is the foe, rather it can be one’s friend if one uses it with intention, intelligence and ethics.
The EOS grants a number of awards annually at its congress and this year Prof. Susan Cunningham, honorary secretary of the EOS council, presented the awards.
Dr Mohit Chand et al. received the Houston Poster Research Award for “Consent in orthodontics: The ‘Montgomery era’ ”. The Houston Oral Research Award went to Dr Caryl Wilson-Nagrani et al. for their paper titled “Cleft susceptibility loci contribute towards variations in normal lip phenotypes”.
The Francesca Miotti Best Clinical Poster Award was presented to Drs Jasna Primožič and Jasmina Primožič for “Contemporary non-invasive digital approach to diagnosis and treatment planning of unilateral functional crossbite”.
The EOS Poster Awards went to
- Dr Anke Krämer et al. for “Vacuum-formed retainer versus bonded retainer 6 and 18 months after orthodontic treatment in the mandible—A randomized controlled trial”;
- Haidi Omar et al. for “The effect of cigarette smoke on the shear bond strength of metallic and ceramic orthodontic brackets”;
- Elizabeth Bradley et al. for “Do pre-treatment concerns affect patient satisfaction with orthodontic treatment”; and
- Dr Ylva Brorsson et al. for “Late detection of impacted permanent canines: A longitudinal prospective survey”.
The Beni Solow Award for the best paper published in the European Journal of Orthodontics in the preceding year was given to Dr Niko C. Bock et al. for “Long-term ( ≥15 years) post-treatment changes and outcome quality after Class II:1 treatment in comparison to untreated Class I controls”.
Dr Ewa Czochrowska from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland was given the Distinguished Teacher Award to undertake two one-day lectures in different areas of Europe with the aim of contributing to the quality of postgraduate programmes in Europe.
Drs Fabio Federici Canova, Jan Danz, Giorgio Garofalo, Redi Gerxhani, Uta Gönner, Alexander Johner, Enzo Pasciuti and Yana Popova were admitted to the European Board of Orthodontists as full members. Drs Sofian Ameur, Fabrizia d’Apuzzo, Makram Ammoury, Maria Doughan, Benedikt Schober, Christian Schütz and Kinan Zeno were admitted as provisional members. Full membership of the Network of Erasmus Based European Orthodontic Programmes was awarded to the University of Barcelona in Spain.
To conclude the 95th congress, participants took part in a golf tournament sponsored by Ortho Caps and visited the wonderful village of St Paul de Vence and the nearby Maeght Foundation, a jewel of modern art, to admire the work of Alberto Giacometti, Joan Mirò and Marc Chagall, among others.
Next year’s EOS Congress will take place in Hamburg in Germany from 10 to 14 June.