First Invisalign European Scientific Symposium welcomed 190 orthodontists from 25 countries

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First Invisalign European Scientific Symposium welcomed 190 orthodontists from 25 countries


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Markus Sebastian, Align Technology’s managing director and senior vice president for the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region (Photograph: Fruition)
Nathalie Schüller, DTI

By Nathalie Schüller, DTI

Sat. 6. July 2019


A full-day programme in the beautiful setting of Valencia’s City of Art and Sciences complex awaited the 190 orthodontists who registered to attend Align Technology’s first European Invisalign Scientific Symposium, which took place on 29 June. With 6.8 million Invisalign patients worldwide, of which 1.6 million are teenagers, the focus of this meeting was teenager treatments using the Invisalign system with mandibular advancement and the Invisalign First system for younger patients with early mixed dentition.

Markus Sebastian, Align Technology’s newly appointed managing director and senior vice president for the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region, welcomed attendees. Markus explained that orthodontists working with Align had expressed a need to learn more about the latest clinical evidence behind clear aligner therapy for teenage and younger patients, how to educate parents and growing patients on the benefits of clear aligner therapy, as well as their need for a platform for addressing their own questions regarding the treatments.  The decision was thus made to hold a scientific symposium to provide opportunities for learning and exchange, as well as networking.

Sebastian said that Align Technology, founded 22 years ago, is today still driven by innovation and technology, aiming to guide and support dentists and orthodontists on their journey from analog to digital technologies. For Align, the dentist’s expertise is central to that process.

Dr Beena Harkison, Director of Clinical and Professional Education EMEA at Align, referenced publications which showed the efficacy of the Invisalign system for treating class II with distillation, correcting deep bite and extraction cases. In addition, she referenced a couple of articles which showed equivalent outcomes of treatment with the Invisalign system and fixed appliances. She also presented different studies to demonstrate shorter treatment times, better quality of life and the fact it is easy for patients to maintain good oral hygiene during the treatment, as compared with fixed appliances.

Both Dr Tommaso Castroflorio, from Turin in Italy, and Dr Waddah Sabouni, based in France and Dubai, presented cases on clear aligner treatment versus functional appliances. Tommaso expressed the importance of scientific data, saying that conclusions without evidence amount to a mere opinion. Evidence medicine is not only research, he continued, it is the connecting point between research, the skills of the operator, and the patient and treatment. Sabouni’s conclusions were that patient compliance is the key to success in treating growing patients, a growth study looking at stages and potential has to be performed before teen treatment, and the protocols and anchorage management are essential for all clear aligner treatment.

Dr Mitra Derakhshan, who has been working with Align since 2000 and is Vice President of Global Clinical, presented a multicentre prospective investigational device exemption clinical study, performed in North America. One of the findings was that Invisalign clear aligners with mandibular advancement can effectively treat Class II malocclusions in growing teenage patients. The results of a survey regarding quality of life were very positive regarding patients’ experience of the treatment, including discomfort and appearance, the last of which is very important for teenage patients, whose social interactions and acceptance by their peers are of utmost importance. Derakhshan also presented recommendations for patient selection. She concluded that Invisalign treatment with mandibular advancement is clinically evaluated to correct from mild to severe Class II malocclusions in growing patients with retrognathia without the inconveniences, typically associated with fixed functional devices, such as broken appliances, emergency visits and difficulty ensuring hygiene.

Dr Regina Blevins, from Minnesota in the US, shared her experience with Invisalign First treatment, presenting a few of her own cases treated with this solution for growing patients. She compared the process and results to those of functional appliances in treating her patients.

Dr John Kaku, who operates a fully digital practice in Tokyo in Japan, presented a patient’s journey at his office from the time the appointment is made all the way to the treatment phase.

To conclude the symposium, group discussions with experts gave participants the opportunity to explore issues they felt they needed to know more about in depth. The experts, Dr Simonetta Meuli from Rome in Italy, Dr Susanna Palma from Ciudad Real in Spain and Dr Owen Crotty from Cork in Ireland, engaged with attendees on patient selection and treatment using mandibular advancement.

Dentists participating in the symposium had the opportunity to present clinical posters, four of which were selected and presented to attendees to vote for the best case. For his poster, Dr José Luis Lagunilla Ruiz from Spain won the Invisalign Scientific Award 2019.

The second European Scientific Symposium will take place in May 2020.

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