Interview: Prof. Anton Sculean on the 2020 Perio Master Clinic
With 37 national periodontal societies having joined since its founding in 1991, the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) has well and truly established itself as one of the leading lights in this dental field. In addition to its triennial EuroPerio event, the EFP also convenes a triennial Perio Master Clinic, which will be held this year on 6 and 7 March in Dublin in Ireland. Dental Tribune International spoke with Prof. Anton Sculean, scientific chair of the 2020 Perio Master Clinic and past president of the EFP, about the event and the future for treatment of periodontal disease.
Prof. Sculean, could you please briefly explain what the Perio Master Clinic is?
The Perio Master Clinic is designed to update the skills of dental clinicians through a practical, hands-on approach. The number of participants is limited to ensure an optimal learning environment so that dentists and periodontists can be informed about current scientific research and trained in the latest therapeutic techniques. In just two days, this unique conference provides attendees with clear clinical protocols ready to be implemented in daily practice.
How does the Perio Master Clinic differ from EuroPerio?
Well, both events attract eminent speakers and act as global references in periodontics and implant dentistry. The priority of the Perio Master Clinic is to provide the best possible training to clinicians on a well-defined topic. It has a practical, hands-on approach and is about improving technique. The Perio Master Clinic 2020, specifically, will focus on current and future challenges of hard- and soft-tissue aesthetic reconstructions around teeth and dental implants.
As the world’s leading congress in periodontics and implant dentistry, EuroPerio, by definition, has a global audience and a longer scientific programme, and is not focused on one specific theme. The congress attracts thousands of gingival health-related professionals from around the world. Details regarding EuroPerio10, which will take place in Copenhagen in June 2021, and its scientific programme, will be announced in the coming months.
In scientific terms, what are your expectations for the 2020 Perio Master Clinic?
I expect that the Perio Master Clinic 2020 will set the standard for all future meetings designed for clinicians interested in the science of periodontal and peri-implant tissue regeneration. Together with congress chair, Dr Declan Corcoran, we want this meeting to provide an unforgettable experience from a scientific, clinical and social point of view for every attendee, speaker and moderator—and for the EFP and the Irish Society of Periodontology.
Why is regeneration of periodontium lost owing to periodontitis or trauma so important?
The global population’s life expectancy has increased substantially in the past few decades. As a consequence, patients now need to maintain their masticatory function and aesthetics for a much longer period. Thus, tooth maintenance has become extremely important to ensure function and aesthetics but also to minimise the costs related to extensive reconstructions, which may be necessary in the event of tooth loss and loss of associated hard and soft tissue.
Owing to advances in clinical research, we now have the possibility of saving teeth that only a few years ago would have been deemed non-salvageable. Today, we have the biological understanding, surgical techniques and biomaterials needed for predictable restitutio in integrum, or restoration to their original condition, as well as the healing of soft and hard tissue around natural teeth and dental implants. Not so long ago, obtaining such promising results was unimaginable.
Is it actually possible to regenerate the tissue around teeth and implants that has been lost owing to periodontitis or peri-implantitis?
The simple answer is yes. We now have surgical techniques and biomaterials that make this goal of every patient and dentist a reality. Of course, a thorough diagnosis, treatment planning and the necessary surgical skills are mandatory for obtaining the desired outcomes.
“Owing to advances in clinical research, we now have the possibility of saving teeth that only a few years ago would have been deemed non-salvageable”
Is it possible to evolve from simply arresting periodontitis to actually reversing it?
We have the knowledge and skills to predictably treat periodontitis and arrest its progression. However, a reversal is only possible in certain well-defined situations. Thus, for the clinician, it is crucial to understand for which cases it is a real possibility and how this regenerative surgery can be performed successfully.
In your opinion, why did the Perio Master Clinic 2020 sell out three months in advance?
It’s definitely a result of the success of previous editions of the Perio Master Clinic. Clinicians know that they can expect to see the best periodontal experts and the most challenging approaches. For this edition, at least 37 world-renowned specialists from 14 countries will be sharing their knowledge and experiences in this field of dentistry.
Furthermore, the Perio Master Clinic is an EFP initiative, so attendees can be confident that they will receive a solid evidence-based approach with high-quality service and an engaging atmosphere. Of course, the topic is really attractive—regeneration is an emerging and very promising field. And Dublin is a charming city, interesting and well connected, promising an excellent experience for all attendees.
In your experience, are patients increasingly expecting aesthetic reconstructions?
Definitely. Today, patients expect not only an optimal functional result but also an aesthetically appealing outcome, even in demanding clinical situations. Thus, clinicians are facing challenges in accomplishing, in a predictable manner, excellent functional and aesthetic outcomes that will satisfy these expectations.