Speaking with

Prof. Jan lindhe, The “father” of periodontology

17th September 2012 0

Prof. Jan Lindhe, distinguished Swedish periodontist, will be one of the star speakers at the upcoming Annual SEPA Meeting, to be held in the Palacio Municipal de Congresos of Madrid this coming November 15-17. At the meeting, Jan Lindhe will not only analyse the evolution of Periodontology over the past 50 years, but will also discuss new treatment options for peri-implant diseases.

Of his inputs in the Congress, his potential contributions relating to the growing problem of peri-implant diseases (stressing peri-implantitis) arouse particular interest.



Advances in the management of peri-implantitis

Deficient periodontal health prior to dental implant placement can reduce the efficacy of this treatment and substantially shorten its average duration. Additionally, infections that appear after implants are placed can also negatively affect peri-implant tissues.

Peri-implant diseases, mainly mucositis and peri-implantitis, have become a great challenge for dentists and periodontists (currently it is estimated that at least 1 in 4 dental implant patients could have peri-implantitis) in that not only do they threaten the oral health of these patients, but they also jeopardise the success of possible periodontal treatments that these people may require in the future.

Most of current research and innovation involves techniques aimed at regenerating lost bone and helping the implant surface osseointegrate once again.

Significant progress has been made in recent years to improve the prevention of peri-implantitis, something that is quite positive considering that prevention is the most effective treatment for this condition. Progress is also being made in identifying the risk factors for peri-implant disease, allowing for earlier and more precise detection of patients who are more likely to develop the disease. Poor oral hygiene, tobacco smoking and having a previous history of periodontitis are the main risk factors for developing peri-implantitis.

Also, there are more and more oral hygiene products and instruments that make it easier for patients control their plaque. Bacterial plaque control can be complicated due to implant design or placement; in this regard, experts warn about the importance of patients efficiently keeping their bacterial plaque under control and the importance of using special toothbrushes that facilitate access to and around prostheses, thus improving mechanical control of the bacterial biofilm.

However, the preventive approach that will be most developed in the future is chemical control; without a doubt, the use of chemical measures to control biofilm in implant patients is essential. Molecules and product forms that enhance their ability to access areas that are hard to reach using normal techniques are being researched. In this regard, the ETEP research group (Etiology and Treatment of Periodontal Diseases), of the Universidad Complutense is carrying out studies analysing different products such as Cetylpyridinium chloride in the form of a gel.




Nevertheless, the most suggestive and promising research area lies in the search for an effective regenerative treatment. Most of current research and innovation involves techniques aimed at regenerating lost bone and helping the implant surface osseointegrate once again. When faced with an infected implant, the ideal goal should be to regenerate the destroyed bone and then to achieve osseointegration to the implant surface. The problem is that there is no current predictable technique, and the percentages of regeneration and re-osseointegration that are obtained are quite variable.

In any case, the key to peri-implantitis treatment at this moment is to know how to treat the implant surface that is contaminated with pathogenic biofilm; once the proper method has been discovered, it will be much easier to be able to do away with peri-implantitis.

In collaboration with SEPA (logo)




Jan Lindhe, Professor Emeritus at the Sahlgrenska Akademia of Gothenburg (Sweden) and international reference in the world of Periodontology at age 76, will be one of the stars to attend the dual SEPA Madrid 2012 meeting (46th Annual SEPA Meeting and the 2nd Meeting of Oral Hygiene). Dr. Lindhe’s career is strongly linked to his country, Sweden, and to the United States. He graduated from the Royal School of Dentistry in Malmö, and he completed specialty training in oral surgery and periodontology at the University of Lund, where he began his career as Professor in Maxillofacial Radiology in 1957. He earned his Doctorate there in 1964 with his thesis entitled Orthogonal cutting of dentine: a methodological study, and in 1967 he transferred to the University of Umeå to become Associate Professor and Chair of Periodontics. In 1969 he left to become Chair of Periodontics at the University of Gothenburg, where he remained until 2001. In the year 1977 he was elected Dean of the School of Dentistry. In the United States he worked as Dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania from 1983 to 1988, and has kept close ties to periodontology programmes in the United States, such as the University of Southern California. Dr. Lindhe’s book entitled Clinical Periodontology and Implant Dentistry has been translated to Spanish and published by Editorial Médica Panamericana in several successive editions.



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