Understanding the Dental Implant Transition Zone

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BACD Annual Conference: The transition zone in implant dentistry

One of the speakers at this year’s BACD Annual Conference, Dr Mark Bowes (top) says: “There’s no question that every dentist will be or has been involved with dental implants in some way – either by placing, restoring and/or maintaining them. And effective management of pink and white aesthetics in the transition zone is really important.”

Renowned clinician and co-presenter Dr Howard Gluckman, (above) agrees: “The transition zone can really make or break implant treatment in terms of aesthetics and long-term stability. You could have an implant crown that’s perfect in colour, shape and texture but if the transition zone is wrong, the whole case can prove a failure. Everything implant dentists work towards should revolve around achieving and maintaining long-term success in the transition zone.”

Founder and Past President of the South African Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry, Dr Bowes is the owner of a private practice in Cape Town, South Africa. Director of the Implant and Aesthetic Academy, Dr Gluckman is also in full-time private practice in Cape Town. He recently received his PhD (summa cum laude) for a thesis entitled “Partial Extraction Therapy; Past Present and Future” from the University of Szeged in Hungary.

Dr Gluckman’s special interests are immediate implant placement/immediate implant loading, soft tissue aesthetics, periodontal plastic surgery, autogenous bone augmentation, and partial extraction therapy.

Regarding their session at the Conference, Dr Bowes says: “The holy grail of implant dentistry is to achieve high aesthetic results and long-term implant stability. Understanding what goes on in the transition zone enables clinicians to not only deliver the best outcomes but also to maintain dental implants more effectively.

“The transition zone relates to the area between a dental implant prosthesis and the adjacent soft tissue, a hugely important factor in the success of an implant from a biological and aesthetic point of view. We will cover every aspect involved with implant therapy that influences the transition zone – from treatment planning and surgery, to patient response, temporisation and the final restorative stage of the procedure.

“Long-term maintenance of dental implants will also be covered. These are vital elements in ensuring the stability and longevity of a dental implant.”

Dr Gluckman believes that the key to successful management of the transition zone is correct development of both bone and soft tissue. “Many clinicians try to follow a minimally invasive, atraumatic approach,” he says, “but the patient ends up with an inadequate outcome – it will work for a couple of months or years, but then slowly starts to deteriorate.

“During our lecture, Mark and I will explore a range of surgical concepts to achieve and maintain a transition zone that remains stable over time, which includes everything from bone augmentation, soft tissue grafting, exposure and collapse of tissue, through to socket shields, pontic shields, root submergence, and other partial extraction techniques.

“I hope delegates will take away one or more techniques they can use to achieve predictable, reproducible results with their implant cases.”

Dr Bowes says: “It’s incredibly important for clinicians to develop their knowledge regarding the transition zone. There are many unknown factors that Howard and I will, hopefully, make clear during our session that will help practitioners better manage long-term, stable dental implant outcomes.”

Regarding the Annual Conference Dr Bowes adds: “I’m always impressed by the standard of scientific presentations offered at this event; it provides one of the most outstanding dental education programmes of any region in the world and attracts the highest-calibre speakers from the world stage, which helps dentists explore current topics that will help them become better clinicians.

“And it’s not just about the science of dentistry; BACD members love being part of a great organisation. There is real spirit and a fantastic sense of community which makes the social aspects so important because everyone within the profession needs to feel connected. I’m really excited about returning to the UK and meeting old friends ¬– it will be like coming home.

“Plus, there’s no better city to visit than Edinburgh. The BACD couldn’t have picked a better venue for this event. It’s the icing on the cake!”

The BACD Seventeenth Annual Conference
‘Seeing Is Believing’
12th – 14th November 2020
Edinburgh, Scotland

For more information, visit www.bacd.com