International Implantology Week
Zimmer Dental and NYU College of Dentistry collaborate to deliver a cutting-edge implantology symposium.
From March 14 through March 18, over 200 clinicians from 28 countries gravitated to New York City, where Zimmer Dental and New York University’s College of Dental Medicine played host to the 2011 International Implantology Week. The multifaceted event was designed for clinicians with good competency in the field of dental implantology who were looking to expand and accelerate their knowledge not only using dental implant technologies but also regenerative medicine. “At Zimmer, we believe that you not only have to understand where to place the implant, but you have to be able to properly prepare the site to make sure that, from a restorative basis, the implants are going to wind up where you want them for the ultimate esthetic result,” said Harold C. Flynn, Jr., president of Zimmer Dental. “Our interest was to bring together a world-class cadre of clinicians who are wet-fingers practitioners in their spaces that can really talk on a peer-to-peer level and help increase people’s skills.”
The International Implantology Week program boasted 11 renowned clinicians, experts in their fields, presenting on different topics. “It was a five-day, interactive, very advanced-level experience that looked at a number of the topics that really went through the entire treatment continuum from case management to soft tissue management and esthetics—a very broad spectrum of interest for a number of the participants so they could each look at the places where they wanted to augment their skills and capabilities,” Flynn explained. Topics included traditional implants, one-piece implants for tight edentulous spaces, sinus lift procedures, soft tissue management, socket preservation, bone grafting, bone augmentation, as well as many others. A product fair showcased some new products from Zimmer, notably the Zimmer CurV, a pre-shaped, novel collagen product used for horizontal and vertical bone augmentation in the atrophic posterior mandibular as well as the atrophic anterior maxilla (Figure 1).
Attendees also had the opportunity to take a half-day educational trip to the Zimmer Institute facility in Parsippany, New Jersey—one of three flagship Zimmer Institute learning locations featuring simulated patients and a number of different types of courses to help the clinicians practice in a very lifelike manner. “The clinicians can get hands-on training in advanced implantology,” Flynn explained. “What would typically take 6 months healing time, we fit into a day, which allows the clinicians to perform a complete case.”
The learning facility is housed within Zimmer’s Trabecular Metal™ manufacturing facility and co-located with a bio-skills laboratory (Figure 2) for Zimmer Holdings, so participants can preview what actually goes into producing the material that will allow Zimmer’s implants to not only have on-growth, but to have true in-growth incorporation, where the bone can go into a 3-dimensional structure shaped like cancellous bone. “It really was pretty exciting there because we can do education on restorative dentistry, comprehensive treatment planning, and implant procedures as well as advanced cadaveric surgical courses,” Flynn said. “We’re making that multi-million dollar laboratory environment available to clinicians around the world.”
Linking Industry and Education
According to Flynn, “Against the backdrop of education and medical education, a key theme for Zimmer and part of our responsibility to the industry overall is to be able to help clinicians improve their skills and abilities so that the patients—who we put first in everything that we do—have better, safer, more predictable, and more successful outcomes overall.”
Flynn says that NYU College of Dentistry has been a fantastic partner. “They have a great facility with great leadership who really engages in education worldwide. Ken Beacham, NYU’s assistant dean for continuing dental education, has been a fantastic partner and is someone who looks into the industry and tries to bring the latest and greatest, not only here in the United States, but globally. NYU is one of the most successful outreach education programs in the oral healthcare arena. We couldn’t be happier with our relationship there and working in partnership to allow participants to have not only ADA CERP-certified courses but also to earn an overall NYU credential at the end of the week.”
Zimmer and NYU are committed to making the International Implantology Week an annual event. Reflecting on the changes between the 2010 and 2011 programs in light of what might be to come, Flynn noted, “as we look at next year we would take a very similar approach. Keep it fresh, keep it interesting, keep the topics changing, have a number of topics that will be of interest based on the feedback that we had from the participants this year.”