Were you at the record-breaking dental show in Cologne, Germany? According to the final report of the Koelnmesse 125,000 visitors were – in theory – able to view 2058 exhibitors and their products and services from 56 countries. But some would only have been there for the “show” ranging from the harmless throwing of T-shirts printed with the company logo into the crowd to other questionable presentations.
There is a wide range of offers for training and advanced training from specialist societies at a high scientific level with acclaimed experts in an appropriate professional atmosphere.
Those who were not misled by disconcerting promotions and wanted information about implantology were presented with an unbelievably wide range of offers. The modern IDS app for this topic suggested more than 300 exhibitors for this topic. And also refining the search to the product “implant” produced a result of over 200 manufacturers who were clearly visible over the two days. The stands were spread throughout virtually all exhibition halls from A such as A.B. Dental Devices from Israel to Z such as ZL Microdent Attachment GmbH & Co. from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Those who also visited little known manufacturers in addition to the well-known large manufacturers, who (still) cover approximately 75% of the market in Germany could, considering the wide range on offer, certainly ask the question: “Which implant system do I want to use in my practice?” What are the differences?
The basic requirement for confidence in a product is consistent quality assurance from the purchase of the raw material right up to the packaged, ready-to-use implant. This is probably guaranteed for products produced in the domestic market due to the general statutory conditions for medical devices. But what are the prospects as far as sustainability and long-term availability are concerned? Only recently I was asked for advice as to what the solution would be in the case of an abutment, manufactured by a company no longer in business, which fractured three years after insertion. Apart from “decommissioning” of the implant, the only options were explantation, reconstruction and remake. This involves enormous stress for our patients and not simply due to the unnecessary treatment.
The most salient argument, however, is that for research and development. Without investment in this area there would be no or only slow development in future. Failure to take this approach into consideration would stifle positive development and treatment options, e.g. in the use of new materials. In the interest of maximum patient safety and satisfaction in the restoration of masticatory function one should differentiate clearly between collected illustrative case reports and, e.g. independently performed, multicentre studies with corresponding statistics which sufficiently meet scientific requirements, with the resulting large patient groups. And what about animal experimental and preclinical studies?
I am looking forward to the 2015 IDS.
Knowing that our readers have a great interest in scientific topics, I hope you enjoy the current issue.
PD Dr. Kai-Hendrik Bormann