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In late August I attended the World Dental Congress in Madrid. Over its four days I had the opportunity to learn from more than twenty speakers, who took us through the latest trends in the different branches of Odontology. I was accompanied by my dentist colleagues Katia Gustino, Javier Alonso Celayeta and Nerea Betolaza, with whom, as always, I exchanged techniques and knowledge.

The Congress took place at Madrid’s Trade Fair (IFEMA) installations, where there were more than a hundred stands occupied by commercial brands from all over the world: Europe, America, India and China. During our time off from the conferences, my colleagues and I purchased a number of products and books, as well as taking a look at the latest in odontology innovations, instruments and machinery.

As far as the conferences are concerned, there were 5 large rooms in which different subjects were explained simultaneously, morning and afternoon, over 4 days. Given the many conferences available, we had made a studied selection of what we wanted to see on the programme days prior to the congress.

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The conferences which I found most interesting and from which I learned most were:

  • Bio-adhesives, by Dr. Sauro

These are new adhesives which protect and even regenerate dentine in the case of obturations or fillings. They are also used to protect worn roots.

  • Symposium on Periodontics and Implants, by Drs. Fickl and Ackermann

The doctors stressed that sometimes, with good periodontal treatment, we can save teeth and avoid the need for implants. To succeed, the patient must be disciplined and motivated.

  • Restored teeth with root canal, by Dr. Linares

Having carried out a root canal, we heard about the latest techniques to guarantee that reconstruction of the piece is long lasting.

  • Symposium on Prostheses, Updating on fixed and removable prostheses, by Drs. Schimmel, Conejo, Kern and Comlekoglu.

This symposium looked at innovations in and made a comparative study between porcelain veneers, completely ceramic crowns, zirconia bridges with and without ceramics, and other prosthetic materials. Each material has its own specific indications and cannot be used on all teeth, or on all patients.

Also interesting was the conference on complete removable dentures used above all in the elderly, and which must be made with great care and detail.

  • Design of prostheses on implants, for stable aesthetic results with respect to the gum, given by Dr. Vela

Healing abutments and their design are essential in guaranteeing that the gum neither loses thickness nor retracts. Divergent abutments are no longer used. Converging design abutments, which leave more space for the soft tissues, are preferable. An effort must be made to use transepithelial abutments from the beginning, doing away with the need to insert and remove healing abutments which cause fractures in the gingival fibres.

  • 21st century orthodontics, by Dr. de la Cruz

Today we try in as far as possible not to remove teeth; however, we do apply more corticotomies, i.e. cuts made to the bone so that the teeth will move together more rapidly, also using micro-screws anchored to the bone so that the teeth can be pulled into place using elastic bands during the different treatments.

We heard about self-ligating brackets, which require less physical time at the dentist’s, and about Invisible Braces, with removable splints, systems which give good results in certain cases.

  • 21st century periodontics, studies and updated treatment, by Dr. Feres

Besides technique, I was above all interested in antibiotic medical treatment.

  • Symposium on Anaesthetics, by Drs. Hersch and Malamed

An enormously interesting conference on improvements in local anaesthesia techniques, making it less uncomfortable when applied and more effective, as well as ensuring that it lasts for just the right amount of time in the different parts of the mouth.

The Congress was highly interesting and productive.