Any dental practice that is serious about caring for patients who need teeth replacement with dental implants should also be serious about keeping up with top quality continuing education about the state of the art & science of implant dentistry.
The top organization for quality ongoing education is the Academy of Osseointegration (AO). The AO held its 34th annual international meeting in March 2019. Members of the Academy come from almost 80 different countries around the world. At AO meetings, internationally-acclaimed speakers are allowed to present only scientifically-proven, evidence-based information, unlike at other organizations’ meetings with less strict rules.
History of the Academy of Osseointegration
The AO started 34 years ago as a study group in New York. It rapidly became the top such organization in the U.S. The first honorary member was Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, who discovered the near-miraculous biologic process called osseointegration. That is a process in which living bone grows onto the surface of an implant made of titanium which is gently inserted into the bone. Once the bone grows on, teeth can be attached to the bone-anchored implant.
I joined the AO 32 years ago. Soon thereafter I was appointed as Chair of the Membership and Credentials Committee. Later, I was elected to the AO Board of Directors. I noted one thing lacking, which Professor Brånemark importantly had said- his discovery of osseointegration was meant to benefit people worldwide, and not be stopped at geographic borders.
When I joined the Board of Directors, although the AO was noted to be the top U.S. implant educational organization, its focus was primarily in America. I wanted to expand that educational opportunity around the world by extending AO’s reach globally, including having leadership roles for top doctors from around the entire world.
The year I became president of AO, our annual meeting included simultaneous translations into 5 languages, in addition to English, so that doctors from other countries could attend and learn comfortably in their own native language. I also helped get some of the world’s top doctors elected to the AO Board of Directors.
Dr. Kenji Higuchi awarded Nobel Biocare/Branemark Award
At the 33rd annual AO meeting, I had the privilege to bestow the prestigious Brånemark/Nobel Biocare Award for lifelong excellence in patient care, education and research to Dr. Kenji Higuchi . Dr. Michael Norton from Great Britain is the first non-American president of the AO. I served as president of the Osseointegration Foundation.
Recipient of Brånemark/Nobel Biocare Award, Dr. Kenji Higuchi (center); Dr. Michael Norton (left); and Dr. Edward Sevetz (right).
Is Your Dental Provider a Member of the AO?
If your dentist talks with you about receiving implant dentistry care, ask how long they’ve been involved in such care, at which school did they receive their implant training, where do they receive ongoing continuing education in dental implants and if they are a member of the worldwide Academy of Osseointegration. If you are interested in learning more about the AO, search www.osseo.org