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Prosthodontics at the Interface - Art & Science

RWCMD Cardiff, 18th - 19th April 2024

The 70th Anniversary Conference of the BSSPD was held at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff on April 18th - 19th. The theme of the Conference was ‘Prosthodontics at the Interface – Art and Science’ where the many interfaces of prosthodontics were explored over the two days.

After a brief opening welcome address by President James Owens the first session was Chaired by Dr Matthew Locke. The conference got underway with Consultant Clinical Psychologist Professor Tim Newton of Kings University giving a thought provoking and entertaining talk on the psychological impact on dental treatment from body dysmorphia to enhanced GAG reflex. It was strikingly, and sometime humorously, illustrated with some salutary tales. The session continued with Dr James Darcy talking on prosthetic rehabilitation of trauma patients. Dr Darcy gave a candid account of the challenges this group of patients present. He demonstrated this with a number cases which refreshingly showed not just the optimal outcomes he had achieved but also some of the complications he had experienced in treating such patients. It served to eloquently highlight the areas that need to be considered when treatment planning this patient group. The first session concluded with Professor Wendy Turner from Belfast Dental School who gave a comprehensive update on the recent changes to periodontal disease classifications and treatment guidance at the different stages of disease progression. With the latest evidence based recommendations this highly informative and engaging talk emphasised the need for periodontal health and stability as a basis in any prosthodontic treatment plan. The session closed with a stimulating plenary session before lunch and a visit to the poster presentations and trade show.

The afternoon session was Chaired by Dr Sarra Jawad and included the role of prosthodontics in the multidisciplinary team care of patients with complex dental needs. The session started with Dr George Michelinakis who gave the first of two fascinating presentations on digital prosthodontics. The opening talk focussed on the science of the technology particularly the scanners both oral and facial as well as its use in fixed prosthodontics. Dr Michelinakis showed how combining these various scans can produce high quality prosthodontics. He often quoted from a large data base of practice as well as university-based research he had conducted. Dr Matthew Thomas continued the session with a very well structured and informative talk on the specific issues that hypodontia patients present when needing long-term prosthodontic rehabilitation with dental implants and adhesive bridges. He illustrated it excellently with a number of enlightening cases. After the break, Dr Nathalie Vosselman gave a marvellous insight into the challenges of prosthetic rehabilitation of head and neck oncology patients following resective surgery. This very well illustrated session highlighted the many challenges faced when treating these patients from both a hard and soft tissue perspective.

Before the close of day one, incoming BSSPD Awards Administrator Professor Gerry McKenna announced the launch of the Society’s new Research Award Grant of up to £10,000 that will be open to those who have been members of the Society for at least one year.

The end of the first day saw the AGM held in the main hall which was followed by the launch of the BSSPD@70 Jubilee Book celebrating the first 70 years of the Society with a look back at its history. There were short presentations from Past President Suresh Nayar and Dr Richard Welfare who had been instrumental in the book’s production.

Immediately following the AGM there was an informal canapé and drinks reception in the College Atrium. 150 attendees were treated to the sounds of The Cardiff Male Voice Choir and a contemporary Jazz Band while socialising with friends and colleagues.

Day two saw more delegates join the conference with the Institute of Maxillofacial Technologists and Dental Technologists holding a parallel session in the adjoining theatre and dental trainees from HEIW also attending. BSSPD Society members Professor Chris Butterworth and Dr Raelene Sambrook together with day one invited speaker Dr Nathalie Vosselman all presented to the IMPT group. 

The  morning session three, in the  main theatre was dedicated to ‘The Art and Science of Removable Prosthodontics’ and was Chaired by Dr Elizabeth King.  Dr Charlotte Stilwell started the morning by highlighting the principles and history of the Scandinavian Hygienic Design concept and the way it has transformed the outcomes of patients with removable prosthodontics. This highly informative talk which had a lot of evidence base combined with clinical scenarios demonstrated admirably how conforming to these design principles benefits patient aesthetics and function. The use of implant support and retention in novel ways also stimulated thought and discussion. Dr Finlay Sutton continued the theme with his entertaining and highly informative talk on the use of these techniques in challenging prosthodontic cases including oncology and cleft palate patients. He showed some remarkable cases and transformations that he had achieved with this approach that not only improved outcomes but reduced follow up and chairside time in the treatment of patients. The session concluded with Dr Michael Gregory giving a ‘back to basics’ presentation on the fundamental principles of impression taking. He particularly well illustrated how one of our oldest dental materials, impression compound, is still one of most versatile and useful materials at our disposal. He demonstrated with several enlightening video clips the importance of tray modification and border moulding for impression taking.

At the conclusion of the morning session the Awards Administrator Professor Chris Butterworth announced the winners of the prize competitions. Emily Thomas won the Kulzer undergraduate prize. The Schottlander Poster prize went to Dr Tong Wah Lim. The Schottlander Oral Presentation prize went to Dr Rachel Jablonski who then presented her winning project ‘Improving facial prosthesis’s construction with contactless scanning and digital workflow’.

Following the lunch break the final session chaired by past President Dr Dean Barker again looked at the interfaces of Prosthodontics. It started with Professor Shakeel Shahdad and the implant-prosthodontic interface. His presentation vividly demonstrated why and how prosthodontic positioning should drive implant planning and not just ‘where there is bone’. Professor Shahdad showed how high quality augmentation procedures and implant selection are vital to achieving excellent prosthetic results, with the final tooth position being the driving principle for implant planning. Dr George Michelinakis then gave the second part presentation on digital prosthodontics. Again using state of the art graphics he showed the latest research and developments in removable prosthetic digital technology. The challenge of removable prosthodontics were in some regards harder than fixed but with this rapidly progressing field the day of purely ‘digital dentures’ was not far away. The educational programme concluded with Professor Massimo Giovarruscio who took us on a journey into the inner world of endodontics. Another stunningly illustrated talk graphically demonstrated the interface of the root canal with the coronal and extra-coronal restorations. Professor Giovarruscio showed how endodontic and prosthodontic success are intimately related with both evidence base and impressive clinical cases.

Following the session four plenary, the conference concluded with the handover of the Presidency to incoming President for 2024-25 Dr Shiyana Eliyas. Shiyana thanked the Society for the honour of becoming President and briefly outlined her plans for the 2025 Conference in The Royal Institution of London on the theme of ‘Sustainable Prosthodontics’.

A thoroughly enjoyable and highly educational couple of days in the Welsh Capital with over 350 Conference delegates was thus brought to a close.     


Conference programme image

Conference programme to download here>>