BY EMILY HAGENBURGER
More than 3,000 dental professionals from around the world gathered in Gothenburg, Sweden, in May for the 2012 Astra Tech World Congress.
Of these thousands, only 400 were from the U.S. and Canada.
Greeneville's own Dr. Jon Rogers of Rogers Family Dental on Old Tusculum Road, was not only one of the attendants, but also one of the very few offered an all-expense paid trip to the conference.
Rogers was given this opportunity due to his previous high caliber work in implant dentistry and Astra Tech's interest in expanding into the Southeast U.S.
The theme of the three-day conference was "The Future of Implant Dentistry."
Implant dentistry uses osseointegration to lock a titanium implant into the jawbone. These implants then support prosthetic tooth replacements.
The procedure is beneficial to those who have lost one, several, or even all of their teeth, and is also used for stabilizing moving dentures.
The prosthetic tooth replacements look and act like natural teeth, minus the threat of cavities and decay.
Rogers had the opportunity to present his successes with implant dentistry as well as learn what others were doing in the biggest cities and top schools in the world.
"Going to this conference reinforces that the kind of care we're providing with implant dentistry is at the same level as the worldwide dental community," Rogers said.
"This is just confirmation that what we're doing here in Greeneville can be considered world class. It made me proud of what we do here."
The full mouth reconstruction cases that Rogers has done are a main reason he was chosen to participate.
"Not a lot of Tennessee dental offices are doing this type of dentistry," Rogers said, "and Astra Tech wants to be involved."
The greatest leap that implant dentistry has taken in recent years is the short amount of time it now takes to get new teeth, Rogers said.
All in one day, Rogers and other dentists practicing this procedure can take out all the necessary teeth, place the implants and attach the prosthetic teeth. The patient leaves with an entirely fixed set of teeth they can begin to use right away, he said.
If nothing else, Rogers hopes that people in the Greeneville community will learn of this procedure and realize that "it exists, it is incredibly effective and predictable, and it is supported by long-term studies."
The process of implant dentistry has increased in popularity since its onset in the 1960s.
With new technological advances, the success rates for these procedures have risen to 98 to 99 percent, he said.
"Implants can make someone's life better," Rogers said, "I hope more people will give it a try."
Rogers Family Dental is located at 1741 Old Tusculum Road. The telephone number is 638-7491.