Editorial - ZZI 03/2015

Implant medicine: Science, craft and the art of healing – Is this like comparing apples and oranges?

Implant medicine: Science, craft and the art of healing – Is this like comparing apples and oranges?

The time has rolled around again – The annual DGI conference is approaching at the end of November. It takes place every three years as a joint session with the Austrian and Swiss associations.

Chaired by Prof. Lorenzoni a schedule has been put together for this congress in Vienna, Austria which analyzes the different aspects of implantology as a part of medicine: science, craft and the art of healing.

Of course these are different sides of the same coin, yet the topic remains highly timely: Innovative materials or new methods for implantology are evaluated according to evidence-based medicine (EBM) and always taking patients’ wishes into account first. The operator – be it the dental technician, prosthodontist or surgeon – must have a thorough command of these methods (internal evidence) and they must have been proven in well planned scientific studies (external evidence).

This issue of the ZZI (JDI) covers the triad of internal and external evidence as well as new approaches to therapy which benefit the patient:

Dr. Frank Zastrow’s case report shows a step-by-step procedure for treating a severely atrophied maxilla. Although the individual stages of this concept may be known, when described as a case report it very clearly documents the necessary professional qualifications of the entire staff. Medicine – stated Dr. Konrad Schily the founding president of the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany – “continues to be carried out by hand!” Its basics are not only conveyed and learned in an auditorium, but also at the patient’s bedside.

The article written by Prof. Florian Beuer and his working group is dedicated to the digital aspects of implantology. A closer look at the team of authors, made up of renowned specialists in surgery, prosthodontics and dental technology, provides a well-structured insight into the procedure for an innovative yet complex concept which minimizes treatment time for the patient.

Last but not least, “biometry banter” by Dr. Knippschild and staff concentrates on the presumed ace card in scientific evaluation: Meta-analysis. From the practice point of view, it involves virtually no supposed stumbling blocks. This article does away with this impression and describes clearly what must be taken into account to avoid – as the title says – comparing apples and oranges.

Perhaps Herbert Knebel an archetype of the Ruhr area of Germany and comedian summed up the essential cooperation between science and daily practice in implantology well when he said: First chew it over, then plug it in!

With this in mind, let’s look forward to this issue of the ZZI (JDI) and to our joint congress in Vienna, Austria!


Prof. Dr. Axel Zöllner