AO Toronto Conference to pay tribute, look ahead to next 35 years
In 1982, the University of Toronto supported by the University of Göteborg, hosted a scholarly initiative which introduced North American clinical academics in oral surgery and prosthodontics to the concept of osseointegration.
Now 37 years later, the Academy of Osseointegration (AO) will host “A Tribute to the Toronto Conference and its Impact on Global Dentistry,” to be held May 4, 2019 at the University of Toronto.
Kicking off this exciting and retrospective meeting with opening remarks will be AO Immediate Past President Dr. James C. Taylor from Ottawa, Canada. Following Dr. Taylor will be George Zarb, BChD, DDS, MS, MSc, FRCD (C) emeritus professor, University of Toronto.
Reflections on the 1982 Toronto Conference and its outcome
The beginnings of predictably safe dental implant treatment started with a two -day implant conference held in Toronto in 1982 in which Dr. Zarb, then chairman of the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Toronto, was the principal organizer.
“Early in my academic career, I was deeply invested in a scholarly implant narrative. At the time, there was an inherent risk of unpredictable time-dependent treatment outcomes resulting from uncertain control of the different intra-oral interfaces associated with prosthodontically-related interventions.
“Moreover, the notion of a specific interface between bone and alloplastic implanted materials was still not seriously considered in academic circles. Consequently, prosthodontic management efforts sought to reconcile diverse patient concerns with dentist-mediated ones regarding the consequences of oral diseases and their treatment-related outcomes. The approach relied on a continuum of academic research which sought to minimize adverse long-term ecological changes in the mouth, and was immediately applicable to Prof. Per-Ingvar Brånemark’s seminal research,” reflected Dr. Zarb.
He continued, “It should be noted that Prof. Brånemark was indeed fortunate in presiding over the launch of a therapeutic era when sophisticated and advanced North American skillsets were readily available to embrace and advance a new osseointegration (OI) treatment approach to managing different stages of teeth loss. It all made for the exciting realization that a compelling approach to better control over intra-oral ecologic outcomes was possible. Hence, the gratifying opportunity to organize the 1982 Toronto Symposium and become an integral part of OI’s launching and subsequent academic nurturing.”
Dr. Zarb further noted that a virtual overnight scholarly environment was created in both dental schools and private practices which led to rapid development of the applied technique. It all started with the Toronto Symposium and was immediately followed by the first pair of University of Toronto specialty courses for North American specialists together with the selection and establishment of five dental school centers in the U.S. and two in Canada, which could quickly expand the technique’s unique potential for the entire profession
It was around this time the Academy saw its official beginnings from two dentists who had trained at Toronto (and facilitated the Osseointegration Study Group in New York), and the publishing of the International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants (JOMI), AO’s official journal. The global run toward an unprecedented dissemination of the technique quickly became a sprint.
Now nearly four decades later, AO is holding this conference to “sustain university-based clinical research as an outgrowth of an even better understanding of basic science investigations of the time-dependent induction of the OI response, and to continue taking stock of both quantitative and qualitative research that underscore our professional integrity,” according to Dr. Zarb. He also re-asserted his conviction that the profession remains vulnerable to the allure of new technologies, and that high-tech with a conscience demands a deliberate ethical strategy and takes hard work. This concern is particularly apt in the context of the rapidly emergent challenges regarding oral health care for elderly patients and the need to consider this challenge a robust and significant interface, with strong roots in qualitative research outcomes.
“We are also at the cusp of an age of technological totalitarianism in many branches of health care, and we should strive for more accurate and scrupulous screening, more ethical considerations, more projections of what can go wrong, as we risk surrendering judgment, reason and oversight to our well-intentioned, if soulless creations. The notion of clinical research that is firmly embedded in care must remain the AO’s concern given its exceptional track record in education and intellectual reach. I believe that it would be most opportune for the AO to focus even more robustly on this specific topic,” Dr. Zarb concluded.
Full-Day Program of Presenters to include:
The Evolution of our Understanding of Osseointegration
Niloufar Khosravi, BSc, MSc, PhD, Faculty of Dentistry University of Toronto; Molecular Imaging, University Health Network; Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto
The Evolution of Bone Grafting for Dental Implants and Today’s Realities
Lesley David, DDS, DipOMFS, FRCD(C), Clinical Associate, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Toronto; and Staff Surgeon, Trillium Health Partners
Peri-Implant Soft Tissue: Where Biology Meets Technology
Carlo Ercoli, DDS, Chair, Department of Prosthodontics; Professor, Departments of Prosthodontics and Periodontics, Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester
The Evolution of Prosthodontic Dental Implant Management From 1982 to the Present
Izchak Barzilay, DDS, MS, FRCD(C), Head, Division of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry, Mount Sinai Hospital; Associate in Dentistry, University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry; and Professor, George Brown College
Moderated Panel Discussion: The Next 35 Years