Clinicians and researchers advancing aligner orthodontic treatment together

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Clinicians and researchers advancing aligner orthodontic treatment together

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Dr Tommaso Castroflorio is the current president and director of education of the European Aligner Society. (Image: Mauro Calvone)

Dr Tommaso Castroflorio is the president and director of education of the European Aligner Society (EAS). He is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher, researcher and orthodontist and shared that he “loves teaching and new technologies” and therefore regularly writes scientific papers to contribute to education on orthodontics. As graceful as always, he kindly answered some questions after the EAS summer meeting.

Dr Castroflorio, was the second EAS summer meeting a successful event?
I feel it was. We had a good representation of EAS members, and the main players in the field involved in aligners, orthodontics and digital orthodontics were present as well. Sometimes, we forget that EAS is not only about custom aligner orthodontics but also about every aspect of digital orthodontics. Today, orthodontics is benefiting from huge developments in terms of 3D printing and new materials and techniques. I think that this event was a good representation of what EAS stands for.

During the plenary session, you announced the collaboration between Align Technology and EAS for the European Board of Aligner Orthodontics (EBAO) certification, the first of possibly many collaborations to come. Would you tell us more about it?
EBAO’s mission is to certify and periodically re-evaluate the expertise, skills and comprehensive knowledge of orthodontists, with an emphasis on aligner and digital orthodontics. It was created because of the importance of orthodontists committing themselves to excellence in aligner orthodontics. EBAO aims to be the global leader in aligner orthodontic treatment board certification and to set the standards of excellence for this discipline.

Align Technology was the first company interested in EBAO, and our collaboration will enable Align to help dentists working with its system to achieve the first phase of the certification. It is to me a crucial step forward on Align’s part because it seems that the focus is centred not on number of aligners produced but rather on excellence in orthodontic treatment. This is great news, and other companies will most likely follow suit.

Why do you feel that the EAS/EBAO Clinical Master certification is important?
I think that EBAO will certify the excellence in skills of an orthodontist working with aligners. It will also provide certification of the orthodontist’s commitment to obtaining the best results with aligners. That is the reason why I strongly believe that the EBAO certification is an important one. It is not only a title; it is an official recognition of the commitment and the passion of an orthodontist with respect to the craft and will offer a way in which aligner orthodontics can come closer, in terms of recognition, to conventional orthodontics.

You are passionate about research and teaching. Is being part of the EAS board of directors another responsibility you are passionate about and why?
Indeed, as you know very well, I am passionate about research and teaching. I think that education is part of research and teaching, and that is another thing I am passionate about. The EAS board agrees that education in aligner orthodontics is a very important issue, and we are thinking of creating a board of educators. This is a vision for the future, since we feel that EAS should lead in the field of aligner orthodontics and should work with its members in order to shape the future of orthodontics together.

The third EAS meeting in Malta was a welcome event after three postponements due to the pandemic. The fourth EAS meeting will take place in your home town of Turin. What do you have planned for attendees?
Together with the scientific chairman, Dr Francesco Garino, we have titled the congress “The next level” in aligner orthodontics—the next level because I have asked my “super ortho” friends around the world to be with us on stage to explain why they are now using aligners in their clinical practice, because some in the past were against aligners. I think that these super orthodontists can literally bring us to the next level. In the past, they were at the top in terms of conventional orthodontics, so I am convinced that they can teach us how to reach excellence by sharing their skills with us.

It will, I believe, be a great congress. The venue—the Lingotto auditorium—is wonderful. You may remember that I always start my lectures by presenting my city. It was the capital of Italy and is now the capital of Piedmont. It is a royal city, a beautiful city, with a great history and an important cultural centre.

How would you like to see EAS grow? Do you have any new ideas you would like to pursue during your presidency?
I would like to see more people become members of EAS. There is a growing number of affiliated national societies, which is very positive. I feel that it is better to hold a bigger meeting, instead of too many. The key opinion leaders are always the same. It is the reason why the fourth congress will have other presenters on stage to bring to us fresh ideas, energy, technologies and innovations to take back to our offices.

As I mentioned, my area of focus is education and I want to create a board of educators that will combine clinicians providing clinical tips and tricks and researchers to put together well-researched protocols and allow EAS to grow and be able to control and certify the quality of educational programmes.

 

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