International Perio Master Clinic 2023 takes place in the Mexican city of León in May next year, putting the spotlight on the regeneration of soft and hard tissues around teeth and implants. Congress chair Alejandro García and scientific chair Anton Sculean explain what it means for the EFP, for the Mexican Association of Periodontology, and – above all – for clinicians.
“International Perio Master Clinic 2023 will be very important for the Mexican Association of Periodontology (AMP) because over two days we will have many leading speakers who are very difficult to find together in Latin America,” says Alex García, who will chair the meeting. “We are very happy because we will have more than 10 international speakers, which usually you would need to travel to Europe to hear.”
Leading European clinicians will share their expertise on hard- and soft-tissue aesthetic reconstructions around teeth and implants and will be joined by speakers and moderators from Mexico and the USA in this two-day congress, which is preceded by a day of hands-on workshops.
“This is an opportunity for us to know what is being done in Europe and America,” Dr García continues. “We want them to share with us all their clinical concepts and tricks they do in challenging clinical scenarios”. In Mexico we have very good clinicians, but it is important to have the latest knowledge and innovations in techniques. We are maybe not going to show anything new, but we are going to clarify a lot of things that are not commonly used.”
He added that there will also be two speakers and three moderators from Mexico, so “it’s a good mix. It’s a big opportunity and it’s going to be very rewarding for the clinicians who attend.”
The event — the EFP’s second Perio Master Clinic outside of Europe, following the one in Hong Kong in 2019 — had originally been scheduled for February this year but was postponed because of concerns about possible travel restrictions in the face of the emergence of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was a tough decision to make, as the congress chair recalls.
“We had Omicron starting and were worried that speakers who came from Europe might have to quarantine in the hotel for one week or two weeks before being able to go back, and we couldn’t risk that,” Dr García explains. “It was not a difficult decision to make in terms of the health and safety of the speakers and the delegates, but it was hard because we had an excellent meeting and if you postpone it then maybe you lose this opportunity, and we don’t know what’s going to happen next year. I had a stomach-ache for three days before we took the decision. But I think we took the right decision.”
Looking ahead to the rescheduled meeting, on 5 and 6 May 2023, he says that registration is going very well with bookings from many Latin American countries – including Chile, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador – as well as from Mexico and the USA, and from countries in Africa and Europe. A special package combining registration and hotel accommodation has already sold out.
“Every week, we get emails asking about International Perio Master Clinic 2023 from Brazil, Colombia, and other countries from people who are thinking of coming in groups with universities and colleagues,” says Dr García. “Latin American people tend to wait until the last minute to register — I have been doing meetings for 10 years with the AMP in Mexico and it is always in the last month when all the colleagues start to register.”
For the EFP, Anton Sculean highlights the importance of the international associate members such as Mexico, which are making it possible for the EFP’s work to be spread around the globe. “The EFP has an excellent programme for a perio master clinic, but without our partners – in this case the Mexican Association of Periodontology – we could not manage to do this. It’s a kind of win-win situation, because on one side we are going to export our EFP brand and on the other side there are going to be top speakers from Europe in a part of the world where they do not often lecture. It is very exciting, but also challenging. We will for sure make it a huge success.”
The scientific programme for the León master clinic tackles essentially the same topics as those covered at Perio Master Clinic 2020, which took place in Dublin just before the Covid lockdowns started across Europe, and it will feature many of the same expert clinicians.
One difference from Dublin will be a focus on the EFP’s clinical practice guideline’s recommendation on Step 3 of periodontal therapy, which includes regeneration. The guideline, which was published in May 2020 – two months after Perio Master Clinic 2020 – gives clear evidence-based recommendations on what can be done with intrabony defects, furcations, and other problems that require a regenerative approach.
Anton Sculean said that the aim of International Perio Master Clinic 2022 is “to provide a kind of cookery book with recipes for the clinicians on the focused topic of regeneration of hard and soft tissues around teeth and implants”. The focus is not on systematic reviews or basic research, but on the clinical background and “a lot of tips and tricks on how to achieve predictable aesthetic results.”
He says that the expert speakers will provide clear answers on when and how to do the various procedures and what clinicians can expect from them.
He highlighted the interactive case presentation that will focus on the choice between regenerative surgery and tooth extraction and replacement with an implant. This case will be presented by Israeli periodontist Moshe Goldstein (chair of the EFP postgraduate education committee) and then discussed by a panel comprising EFP president Andreas Stavropoulos, Phoebus Madianos (Greece), and Sofia Aroca (France).
He also flagged up the final session on complications that might arise from regenerative treatments and how to try to prevent them and then how to manage the should they arise.
It is here that clinical skill more than the current scientific evidence base comes to the fore. As Prof. Sculean explains: “We try to have an evidence-based approach, but in certain aspects you cannot have an evidence-based approach. When a complication occurs, you want to manage it in the best way you can for your patient, but there is not always an evidence-based answer for every situation. In fact, there is sometimes a gap between the top clinicians and an evidence-based approach – so that colleagues who are writing systematic reviews and meta-analyses may not always know how best to treat a specific patient with complications.”
One innovation at the Dublin Perio Master Clinic was the addition of hand-on workshops featuring some of the clinicians who spoke at the event. This model is being followed in León, and organisers anticipate that there will be between four and six hand-on workshops on topics related to the main programme.
“Having well-known speakers offering a hands-on workshop may help to attract more participants,” says Anton Sculean.
Collaboration with the AAP
Another important aspect of the programme is the collaboration with the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). Chris R. Richardson, a former AAP president, has been invited to give an opening presentation alongside Anton Sculean and Alejandro García and will also give a talk on complication management after reconstructive periodontal surgery.
“This is an important step to involve excellent clinicians from the AAP,” said Prof Sculean. “And this is important for our future collaboration at EuroPerio11 in Vienna (May 2025), where there will be a joint session between the EFP and the AAP. “This is a very important development. We have to join forces. We are the two strongest and largest associations in the field, so it is very important to collaborate.”