Dental Tribune Middle East

Exploring the latest in digital orthodontics within dental industry

By Dental Tribune MEA
June 27, 2021

Dental Tribune MEA had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Michael Davidson, Director of Clinical Education EMEA at Align Technology. He shares everything you need to know ahead of the highly anticipated EMEA Invisalign Scientific Symposium taking place July 2nd and 3rd digitally. The Scientific Symposium is an unmissable opportunity for orthodontists to delve into the science behind the Invisalign system and glean the latest advanced clinical knowledge from luminaries of orthodontic pedagogy.

What is the theme of this year’s digital Align Technology Scientific Symposium, and what can attendees at this year’s event expect?
After a year of challenges and disruptions, we have come away with a lot of important learnings and questions about how we can better futureproof ourselves and our industry – the role of science and innovation is critical to this.

We have a lot to share and have therefore broken down the two-day agenda into three themes. Firstly, we will conduct a review of the efficacy and efficiency of clear aligners with a particular focus on predictability, effectiveness, and treatment stability.

Another theme we will be focusing on as a key priority this year, and one which is more relevant than ever, is the role of orthodontics in oral and mental health for growing patients, focusing on patient satisfaction and quality of life, pain perception and anxiety, and the impact of orthodontic appliances on oral hygiene.

The last theme focuses on the extent of possibilities offered by clear aligner therapy in treating complex cases, including maxillary expansion, Class III occlusions, inter-disciplinary approaches, and auxiliary techniques. The aim of these is to provide an opportunity for orthodontists to delve into the science behind the Invisalign system, as well as revealing the latest advanced clinical knowledge from luminaries of orthodontic pedagogy.

This is the second year the event has gone digital – is this something that we can expect in the future?
As the pandemic changed how we live and work, moving the event digitally was a natural choice for us. After a successful first digital Symposium last year, where over 1200 doctors from across the world attended, we are incredibly excited to host this year’s event, and bring together our peers and expert colleagues in the industry to cover some incredibly important topics.

Digital is at the heart of our business, using technology to help give doctors and their teams tools and solutions to optimize and drive their practices, so it makes sense that we would bring this event online. While the world may be facing challenges that have made it difficult to host events like this in person, leveraging the power of technology will allow us to ensure we continue to share knowledge meaningfully with the industry, supporting our colleagues in reaching their full potential.

One of the priority focuses of this year’s event is the role of orthodontics in oral and mental health for growing patients. Can you tell us a little more about why oral health-related quality of life is such an important topic for the industry?
Science is increasingly highlighting the link between our oral health and our general wellbeing. The evidence of recent studies demonstrates its impact on everything ranging from our digestion, immune system and blood pressure to the levels of inflammation in our bodies. Not to mention our mental health. Interestingly, a study in the US showed that almost two-thirds of people with depression reported having a toothache within the span of a year.

What all of this points to, is that there exists an unequivocable link between how healthy our mouth is and how well we are. On the flipside, the focus on the link between the two and how we can help patients within this area still has room for improvement, which is why we wish to equip professionals with the information and tools that will support them in supporting their patient’s well-being. At the event, our esteemed colleague Dr. Meiya Gao will host a session exploring this topic in more detail, including a comparison of pain perception, anxiety, and the impact on oral health-related quality of life between patients receiving clear aligners and fixed appliances during the initial stage of orthodontic treatment.

What role can orthodontists play in helping to deliver greater patient satisfaction and quality of life during treatment, particularly among younger patients?
As dental practitioners, we have a critical role to play within the community. This includes acting as a vital touchpoint for our patients throughout treatment and using our unique touchpoints to educate about, and also identify and intercept potential health issues which are reflected through oral wellbeing.

Aside from aesthetics, improving quality of life also comes down to the patient experience – this is something that is more important than ever – particularly among younger generations for whom immediacy is key.

Thanks to social media and other tech-savvy platforms this generation are used to accessing information when they want it and need it, while being entertained at the same time, and often doing their research on a product before they have even sat in the dental chair, which is a significant behavioral shift the industry must take into consideration.

We are committed to working with our peers and bringing our market-leading expertise to drive greater learning and knowledge about the benefits of the new oral health tools we are pioneering and how we can provide better patient satisfaction and quality of life during treatment.

From a clinical point of view, what are some of the innovations we can expect to hear more about during the event?
A key focus area that will be explored is the possibilities offered by clear aligner therapy, including maxillary expansion, Class III occlusions, inter-disciplinary approaches, and auxiliary techniques.

Keynote lectures will be delivered by global clinical speakers, including Prof. Juan Carlos Rivero Lesmes from Spain who will be presenting about the ‘Efficiency with biomechanics and clear aligners’, whilst Dr. Tommaso Castroflorio from Italy will focus on aligner deformation and whether orthodontic movement is just a question of attachments and whether aligner deformation in Class II and open bite treatments can be predicted.

As part of his lecture, he will also be introducing his peers to some features of the latest Invisalign G8 innovations to address aligner deformation, and the value of using a material like Invisalign SmartForce in addressing this.

As a pioneer in market-leading dental technologies that support people in achieving greater oral health and confidence, we are committed to provide a forum like the Invisalign Scientific Symposium, to give our peers and partners the change to delve into and learn more about the innovations which have allowed practitioners across the world to bring innovative treatment solutions to millions of people globally.

Where can Drs find out more about the Invisalign Scientific Symposium and sign up to attend?
More information, including the full programme agenda and registration can be found here. It’s worthy to note that all speaker sessions will be recorded and accessible after the event for a limited time, only for registered participants. Access to the full two-day programme will cost EUR 200 for Invisalign providers and EUR 250 for non-Invisalign providers. Invisalign orthodontist from the whole EMEA region are welcome, and the lectures will be delivered in English, with simultaneous translations available in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Turkish.

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