A national audience

Prosthodontic grad students present implant research at AO meeting
June 4th, 2019

Dr. Ericka Miller and Dr. Christina Wang

Top scores in oral research and e-poster abstracts recently landed prosthodontic graduate students Dr. Ericka Miller and Dr. Christina Wang in Washington, D.C., at the Academy of Osseointegration’s annual meeting, where they presented their research.

Their presentation, “Implant Stability for the Novice Surgeon,” highlighted the success of implant dentistry by novice surgeons when given expert guidance by dental college faculty with 3D planning. Dr. Amerian Sones, director of the Office of Continuing Education at Texas A&M College of Dentistry, is a coauthor with Dr. Elias Kontogiorgos, professor and director of implant dentistry in restorative sciences, and encouraged them to present their research.

“Implants are a huge part of our prosthodontic education, so this topic was definitely something we were interested in,” says Wang.

Miller and Wang were two of just 25 students nationwide who received travel grants from the Osseointegration Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the AO. They received $1,000 from OF, as well as another $750 each from the college’s  continuing education office—which they applied toward travel in March.

“The AO is not a conference that our program normally attends, so it was really a great opportunity for us,” says Miller. “The conference focused on both surgical and prosthodontic aspects of treatment, and we learned a lot from all of the great speakers.”

Both Miller and Wang say their findings are significant because the research will encourage novice clinicians to take the steps necessary to become proficient in implant placement.

“Despite having initial low Implant Stability Quotient values, we saw that novice surgeons under the guidance of experienced faculty were able to get all implants integrated with acceptable ISQ readings,” says Miller. A 3D printer was used during research to fabricate surgical guides used for implant placement.

Presenting their research proved a bit nerve wracking, they say, because presentations are judged. However, seeing others’ research and posters proved well worth their efforts.

“Conferences are always a great opportunity to meet and catch up with other residents and friends that you only get to see a couple times a year,” says Wang.

— Kathleen Green Pothier