The three-country congresses held in a rotation system since 1999, have been remarkable not only due to the logistical demands for the organisers but also by the professional and human interaction of all involved. Lively and regular transborder contact between the individual specialist associations was established and remains to this day the impulse for exciting collaboration. Even if we, as a German-speaking professional association with mutual interests, can share many common viewpoints, general cultural differences within the developments in Germany, Austria and Switzerland also account for different characteristics and divergent approaches. These differing approaches require all those involved to show understanding, respect and a certain amount of tolerance and find a synthesis, a common denominator, and in this way allow synergies to flow, which facilitate collaboration and continually motivate with new ideas. An example of this was the call to establish an institutional platform for protagonists of a young generation within the associations with the intention of refreshing and extending the views of the board, which has already been in office for many years. In this way impulses will not only extend beyond national borders but also lead to integral approaches within our own generations. It is self-evident that the respective young generations will then interact with new ideas.
Now let’s consider this year’s “Back to the roots” congress. The aim of different factions to popularise dental implants led not only to incorrect indications but also sadly to increasingly faulty applications, so that, regrettably, the percentage of implant failures now exceeds that of ten years ago. In Switzerland the suggestions widely supported by the media that everyone could fit anyone with “teeth in an hour” were counteracted with the establishment of the Swiss Implant Foundation (ISS) as an information platform for the interested population (see www.implantatstiftung.ch). The four Swiss associations SSOS (Oral Surgery and Stomatology), SGI (Implantology), SSRD (Reconstructive Dentistry) and SSP (Periodontology) have delegated their own specialists to join in the scientific commission of the ISS in order to draft and support statements about implantology independently and according to the best scientific and ethical standpoints. The commission’s first coordinated action, the common objective to explain “Quality in implantology” to a wider population was in fact already a first step in “Back to the roots”. With our joint “Back to the roots” specialist congress we aim to continue along our chosen path from the correct choice between “Conserving a tooth or extracting it?” to the correct implant indication and finally to professional application of scientifically based protocols for implant placement. We must surely all share an interest in well-founded acceptance of our implantological treatment recommendations by the broadest sections of the population. We must tirelessly concentrate our efforts in ensuring a high degree of quality control in dental implantology. The best argument for this is high patient satisfaction for decades to come and not a start and stop policy of a small number of parties with mainly short-term commercial interests.
We require more than ever not only a high duty of care from clinical users but we also urgently require reliable studies from university research, which can also be carried out in collaboration with the dental industry, but should always be published with scientific integrity. “Back to the roots” is both an opportunity and challenge and it is in the long-term interests of everyone that dental implantology as a clinical method with a solid scientific basis facilitates the subsequent reconstructive dentistry and consequently the masticatory functional and aesthetic rehabilitation of our patients. Only a positive clinical experience for patients can increase confidence in implantological restorations and ensure the continuous, long-term demand that we all want. With this in mind, I welcome you to our three-country “Back to the roots” congress in Bern and look forward to the upcoming exchange of ideas on both a professional and personal basis.
Dr. Claude Andreoni
President SGI (Swiss Society of Implantology)