Members' testimonials

Friedrich Neukam is Director and Head of the Department of Oral & Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery at Erlangen-Nuremberg University Dental School, Germany.

What is EAO for you?

I heard about the EAO in the late 1980s through Dr Wolfgang Bolz, who was fascinated by the principle of osseointegration. His goal was to build an organisation in partnership with Per-Ingvar Brånemark that would unify the profession, bringing together researchers, periodontists and professionals from other medical fields. It was initially a small organisation and had to compete with national associations. After struggling for survival in the early 1990s, the EAO re-established itself, largely due to its highly successful annual meetings. The meeting in Paris in 1996 marked a turning point, and brings backvery fond memories as I was elected as President that year. One of the EAO’s great strengths is the international character of its meetings, which are attended by people from every continent. The quality of science promoted by the EAO is recognised internationally and this is reflected in the number of abstracts received for each meeting. Many are submitted by young scientists, ensuring that the association supports and encourages the next generation of researchers. The EAO’s journal, Clinical Oral Implants Research, is very highly ranked and a key platform for disseminating the latest research, as well as a great resource for members.
 

Dr Isabella Rocchietta currently works in private practice in London and is affiliated with the University of Gothenberg as a research consultant.

What is EAO for you?

“I graduated from the University of Milan in 2002 and joined the EAO about two years later. I became involved in research quite early on in my career and came into contact with the EAO having attended their annual meeting. Becoming a member was a logical step because the scientific content of the meetings is centrally relevant to my work. For me one of the major benefits of being an EAO member is the opportunity to meet other clinicians and researchers from around the world. Being part of the EAO has been very important because it has enabled me to learn from colleagues who are practising at the highest level. In 2007 I became a founder member and chair of the EAO’s Junior Committee. Through my role as chair I worked directly with the EAO’s Board which gave me the opportunity to learn from more experienced people, both from a clinical and an organisational perspective. As a member of the Junior Committee I have been part of a team that has organised events – such as the summer camps – which have enabled us to carry out innovative research involving young scientists from across Europe. The most important thing for me about the EAO is the high ethical and scientific standards it promotes.”

Dr Paul Stone is Clinical Director and Specialist Oral Surgeon at Blackhills Specialist Referral Clinic, and also part-time Consultant and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in Oral Surgery at Edinburgh Dental Institute. He served as President of the EAO from 2010 to 2011.

What is EAO for you?

I joined the EAO over a decade ago after hearing about it through other colleagues involved in implant dentistry. One of the EAO’s great strengths is that it provides a truly European view of dentistry in general, and not just implant dentistry. The opportunity to meet and work with colleagues from across Europe is really valuable. I have made many friends through the EAO, and the reputation of the organisation has led to valuable research collaborations. In addition, I have discovered different ways of working and gained new perspectives on the clinical challenges we all face. Serving as Scientific Chairman for the EAO’s 2010 meeting in Glasgow was a privilege and honour, and a high point for me. The EAO’s scientific status is one of its greatest strengths. A really important factor is the international mix of speakers and participants at the annual meetings, combined with a programme that is independent of inappropriate commercial influence.

Gil Alcoforado is Professor of Periodontics at the University of Lisbon and also works at a private practice limited to periodontics and implant therapy. He joined the EAO over a decade ago after hearing about it through his membership in the European Federation of Periodontology.

What is EAO for you?

‘The EAO brings the most current and up-to-date information in implant dentistry to their membership through their meetings, newsletters and journal. Every time I go to the meetings I meet friends and attend great lectures given by wonderful speakers. These contacts, combined with the scientific knowledge provided by the EAO congresses, help improve my daily clinical work. The organisation is a channel of well-founded scientific information that helps both the general practitioner and the specialist. This is one reason why young dentists should become members of the EAO.’

Dr Daniel Thoma is Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich’s Clinic of Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics and Dental Material Science. He joined the EAO in 2010 and became a member of the EAO Junior Committee in 2011. Dr Thoma has attended EAO meetings since 2006, when the annual conference was held in Zurich.

What is EAO for you?

I like the EAO conferences because the speakers and presentations are of the highest quality. Each year there are different speakers, whose presentations demonstrate the breadth of scientific research taking place throughout Europe. Over the years, I have presented several abstracts at the annual EAO meetings. I gave a main lecture at the Athens congress 2011, which has become one of my best memories. Being an EAO member has helped develop my career, as I have had wonderful opportunities to present my research at the annual meetings, through both presentations of my abstracts and the research competition.

Ann Wennerberg is a professor at the Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Odontology, University of Malmo, Sweden. Her work encompasses education and patient treatment, with a strong emphasis on research.

What is EAO for you?

I joined the EAO in the early 1990s when I was a student at the Department of Biomaterials in Gothenburg. Several people in our lab were members and I joined as a PhD student. I had heard about the EAO through research collaborations, as well as through COIR. Over the years I have been to several of the EAO’s annual meetings. The mix of science and commercial aspects is very useful and a good concept. I also read COIR with great interest and think it is a key journal for my research area. Being involved with the EAO has helped me gain an audience for some of my research results by giving me the opportunity to present at several meetings. A highlight of my involvement was receiving an award for a poster presentation while I was a student. This was really encouraging for my future work. The EAO’s focus on combining science with clinical applications is what makes it stand out from other professional associations in the field.

Professor Robert Haas PhD DMD MD works in private practice at the Academy for Oral Implantology, Vienna, and also lectures part-time. He has been a member of the EAO since the mid-1990s.

What is EAO for you?

I became aware of the EAO through colleagues, and as a PhD student I submitted papers to Clinical Oral Implants Research. It was relatively unusual for an Austrian research assistant to choose a journal that is published in English, but Clinical Oral Implants Research is very highly rated and I was glad my professors encouraged me to do this. The EAO has a strong focus on education which is very important for clinical practice. Its certification programme helps practitioners demonstrate their skills and achieve recognition for the standard of their practice. For me the EAO is the most important organisation in the field of implantology. It provides a forum for a wide range of scientists and clinicians to come together and share knowledge, and it recognises that implantology is an important specialism that requires its own association. I have been invited to present papers at EAO meetings over several years, and by attending meetings I have got to know many colleagues in the research community worldwide.

Carlo Maiorana is Chair of Oral Surgery and Director of the Postgraduate Programme in Oral Surgery, University of Milan. He is also Head of the Department of Implant Dentistry at Policlinico Hospital.

What is EAO for you?

I joined the EAO after attending the meeting in Milan in 2001, which gave me the opportunity to experience the high scientific profile of the society. Being a member has given me invaluable opportunities to learn from colleagues, share clinical experiences and establish connections with other schools around the world. I have also made many new friends within the community. Meeting other researchers and hearing about their experiences, successes and failures has been very helpful in enabling me to develop my own knowledge. I was privileged to be a member of the EAO Board from 2007 to 2010 and learned a lot about the management of a large society. A particular highlight was being chairman of the 2009 congress in Monaco, together with Pascal Valentini. The atmosphere was great, as well as the feedback from the majority of the 3,500 participants. For me what makes the EAO special is the way all of the people involved work towards the same objectives. Everyone is always ready to accept suggestions and criticism.

Turker Ornekol is a founding partner of Cosmodent, one of the first examples of a group dental practice in Turkey. The practice, which as seven dental units, brings together a range of specialist and general dental services under one roof. Prior to establishing Cosmodent, he and his partner had a practice specialising to implant dentistry. Dr Ornekol became a member of the EAO after attending the annual meeting in 2000 and has been a member since then.

What is EAO for you?

The EAO acts as a bridge between me and the dental implant world, especially the European implant world. It provides a connection with the rest of the industry, new technology and science. “After attending my first EAO meeting I became hooked and have been to the last ten meetings without interruption. Attending the annual meeting means I am continually adding to my experience and level of knowledge. When I come home I always feel motivated to introduce new techniques and approaches. Attending the meetings has had a very important impact on my implant practice. The presentations are all very well organised and the quality of the scientific content is very high.

Dr Nele Van Assche is an EFP certified periodontologist. She treats patients referred for periodontitis and implants at her private practice. She joined the EAO in 2011 having attended the congresses since 2002. Dr Van Assche is also a member of the EAO Junior Committee.

What is EAO for you?

The EAO is made up of highly experienced specialists who have developed in-depth clinical and academic knowledge. As well as linking with this network of specialists, it is also beneficial to have access to full text articles in Clinical Oral Implant Research. The journal gives an up-to-date overview of new findings, technologies and techniques in the field. It has the highest impact among implantology journals. The EAO annual meetings are organised with clear topics and well ordered programmes. I have had the opportunity to give lectures at several of the meetings, including Barcelona, Warsaw and Athens. After presenting, I have made contact with people researching similar topics, which has stimulated the exchange of ideas and inspiration for new research projects.

Dr Mario Roccuzzo is a periodontist working in private practice limited to periodontology and implants in Torino, Italy. He also teaches at the University of Siena and lectures extensively around the world.

What is EAO for you?

In 2001 the EAO’s congress took place in Milan and I joined the Association that year. The meeting was being organised in conjunction with the Italian Society of Periodontology, which I am a member of. Receiving Clinical Oral Implants Research is a big benefit of being an EAO member, and I also enjoy the congresses. I normally come home with some new ideas which I am able to integrate into my practice. There are also valuable opportunities to exchange information with peers outside the main programme. The social aspects are important too and there are many people I have met who I now consider to be friends. I was fortunate to be part of the 3rd EAO Consensus Conference which took place in February 2012 with 58 other delegates from 17 countries. As practitioners we are all exposed to huge amounts of information, and events like this help separate what is evidence-based from what is not. I have many good memories relating to EAO events. A highlight was during the 2009 EAO Congress in Montecarlo when I won the best clinical presentation prize for my paper on long-term results of implants in periodontally compromised patients.

Flemming Isidor is Professor and Chair of the Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Aarhus University, Denmark.

What is EAO for you?

I have been a member of the EAO for around 15 years, and was part of the organising committee when the Association held its meeting in Denmark in 1999. I also contributed to the organisation of the 2012 meeting in Copenhagen. In addition, I have been a member of the EAO’s Abstract Committee for several years. This involves helping to review the large number of abstracts that are received as poster submissions and for the EAO’s research competitions. For me the best aspect of being an EAO member is taking part in the annual meetings. I think the standard of these is very high both scientifically and clinically. Combining science with clinical practice is really beneficial and bringing together experts representing these two aspects is very positive. I have attended most of the meetings over the past decade, and have enjoyed meeting colleagues from across Europe and beyond. The varied locations are very interesting and as a Dane I particularly enjoyed Monaco in 2009, both for the meeting and the weather! My other EAO commitments have included participating in the three consensus conferences, helping to assess the evidence for different treatment protocols.

Dr Franck Renouard is an oral surgeon working in private practice in Paris.

What is EAO for you?

I have been a member of the EAO for many years and attended my first meeting in Barcelona in 1993. My partner, Jean-François Tulasne, was a founder member of the EAO. I served on the scientific committee for the annual meeting for many years, and the quality of this meeting is definitely one of the greatest strengths of the EAO. The programme is developed by choosing the most relevant topics and the best speakers, with no pressure from industry. Being a member of the EAO has enabled me to become part of an international community of practitioners and researchers. There are many universes in implantology and the EAO brings people from these diverse worlds together. I was elected to the board in 2000 and initially served as treasurer, before becoming president. Being a member of the EAO has been extremely rewarding. Meeting so many influential people has broadened my professional outlook. My favourite memory of an EAO event is the 2004 meeting in Paris, which was a fantastic personal adventure. Organising the meeting involved input from many people and organisations, and the end result was very rewarding.
 

Daniel Buser is Professor and Chairman at the Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology, School of Dental Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He was President of the EAO from 1996–1997.

What is EAO for you?

I became aware of the EAO during its very early years, and was invited to the EAO meeting in Malmo in 1994, where I gave a lecture in a session called ‘Controversies in implant dentistry’. This was a positive experience and I decided to join the association. The following year, during the Dublin meeting, I was elected to the board. Two years later I became President and helped organise the conference in Bern in 1997. One of the EAO’s strengths is the breadth of its membership, which reflects expertise from every part of the field. For me the EAO is the true European association in the field of implant dentistry, because it includes members from such a wide range of countries. The congress each year is a wonderful gathering of specialists. Being a member of the EAO is important to me professionally and personally because of the many collaborations and friendships it has led to.
 

Georg Watzek is a founding partner of the Academy for Oral Implantology in Vienna. Until summer 2012, he was Chairman of the University of Vienna Dental School and Head of the Department of Oral Surgery.

What is EAO for you?

I have had a long involvement with the EAO and joined in the early years after it was formed. I was honoured to be elected as EAO President in 2003. During the period I was on the board we saw the number of members increase as the EAO became more well known. During this period a lot of participants started coming to the annual meetings from South Korea and China, and I think this marked the stage that the EAO became well-established internationally, not just in Europe. For me, Clinical Oral Implants Research, the EAO’s journal, is one of the key benefit for members. The annual meetings are of course another highlight. Four years ago the EAO introduced a certification programme and I believe this is another very valuable project. The EAO plays a key role in creating interaction between the leading clinicians and researchers in dental implantology. This expertise is focused in the consensus conferences which have the potential to influence the future of implantology very positively.
 

Dr Theodoros Kapos works in private practice in Mayfair, London, concentrating on prosthodontics and implant dentistry. He is also affiliated with Harvard School of Dental Medicine as a Lecturer at the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences.

What is EAO for you?

“I joined the EAO in 2008 during the annual meeting in Warsaw. I heard about the EAO through my implant programme director at Harvard who recommended the association and supported my application to the Junior Committee. The best aspects of EAO membership are the opportunities to interact with colleagues from around Europe and to get updates on the latest research. The EAO also brings together the two worlds of private practitioners and researchers. During the annual meetings I have been exposed to some amazing lecturers who really stimulated my interest. I was also fortunate enough to participate in two EAO Consensus Conferences. In 2011 I became chair of the EAO’s Junior Committee, which has given me the opportunity to work closely with the EAO’s Board. My best EAO memories are of the two summer camps that the Junior Committee organised. These enabled 40 young scientists to exchange valuable ideas about the future of implant dentistry in a fun environment. The EAO’s independence from any commercial input makes it unique, ensuring that the information it provides is independent and of the highest quality.
 

Professor Marc Quirynen, Chairman of the Department of Periodontology at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, has been a member of the EAO since the association was founded in 1991. His predecessor at the university was Daniel van Steenberghe, one of the EAO’s founders.

What is EAO for you?

The EAO is one of the few real scientific organisations without the interference of industrial partners. This theme is prevelent throughout the entire organisation, including the annual congresses. All speakers must mention if they have a conflict of interest at the beginning of their presentation. The EAO congresses have very up-to-date scientific programmes. This is the best congress to attend if you want to stay informed about implant dentistry. There are different speakers every year, including new, young speakers and researchers. Also, the congress is held in a different location in Europe every year. Not every association takes the word ‘Europe’ as importantly as the EAO does.
 

Nikolaos Donos is Professor of Periodontology at UCL Eastman Dental Institute in London. Professor Donos joined the EAO over a decade ago, after hearing about the organisation through the different conferences he had attended and through Clinical Oral Implants Research.

What is EAO for you?

The EAO is a very dynamic and vibrant organisation that brings together private practitioners, clincal academics and researchers who dedicate their professional activities to implant dentistry. It provides a platform for communication and sharing information. For me, the best elements of being an EAO member are the networking opportunities, the continuous scientific debate, and the consensus meetings and workshops. There is an association-wide dedication to the profession and to spreading knowledge and education of implant dentistry. The EAO provides opportunities to interact with professionals with similar interests. This interaction leads to the development of new research projects, which in turn advance the field.
 

Michael Payer is Assistant Professor at the Department of Oral Surgery, Dental School, Medical University of Graz, Austria.

What is EAO for you?

“I heard about the EAO through my teachers at university as they encouraged me to submit my first abstract to the 2004 meeting in Paris. There are several excellent aspects of EAO membership, including free access to COIR, plus new membership benefits like patient information resources. For me however the biggest benefit is being part of a scientific community with great opportunities for scientific exchange at a very high level. I learned a lot by attending the annual EAO meetings, and although these are dedicated to top-quality science the presentations are very patient care-orientated. One of my best EAO memories is the 2008 congress in Warsaw when I had the chance to join the Junior Committee as a member. More recently I have been involved in organising the two Junior Committee summer camps. These brought young researchers together from all over Europe with the aim of building up a strong network for future collaboration and scientific exchange. What makes the EAO special to me is that it provides a lot of support for the younger generation of scientists and practitioners, enabling them to learn from and interact with more established colleagues. Overall it’s a great organisation for anyone who is interested in moving dental implantology one step further forward."
 

Mats Trulsson is currently Acting Dean at the dental school of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He is a specialist in prosthodontics and is Professor of Oral Rehabilitation and head of the Division of Prosthetic Dentistry.

What is EAO for you?

I'm a relatively new member of the EAO having joined in the last couple of years following a recommendation from a colleague. I think being a member of the Association is a great way of extending my network of contacts in the implant field. Personally I am not very interested in the commercial side of implantology, but the EAO is the ideal forum for making research and clinical contacts. I attended my first EAO meeting in Athens in 2011, which I found very interesting. I liked the format of the meeting, which provided plenty of choice combined with invited speakers of a very high standard. In early 2012 I was invited to participate in the EAO's 3rd Consensus Conference in Pfaffikon. This was very well organised and an extremely interesting conference. For me the EAO is the strongest organisation that focuses on implants, and being a member is important for both my clinical and research work.
 

Dr Helena Francisco works in private practice at the Implantology Institute in Lisbon, Portugal. She is also an assistant lecturer at the implant department of Lisbon University College of Dentistry and joint coordinator of their implant programme.

What is EAO for you?

I started attending EAO meetings in 2008 and immediately wanted to become an active member. In 2011 I applied for a position on the Junior Committee but unfortunately was not successful. I applied again in 2012 and was delighted to be elected. Last year I went to the Junior Committee’s second summer camp in Italy. This brought together 30–40 young clinicians from different backgrounds – many of them from outside the field of dentistry. It was an amazing experience and combining expertise from such a wide range of disciplines was really beneficial. The research projects we undertook at the camp gave me an excellent insight into the work of Junior Committee. The EAO provides a vital role in promoting scientific research and education through its meetings and journal. It is a great privilege to be a member, and also to sit on the Junior Committee.
 

Frank Schwarz currently works as clinical Professor in Oral Surgery at the Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

What is EAO for you?

I became a member of the EAO in 2005 and the following year I was lucky enough to be one of eight researchers selected as finalists to present a paper for the EAO’s annual research competition. This took place during the 15th Scientific Meeting in Zurich, 2006. Being able to present my work at such a major international scientific meeting was a great honour. One of the best aspects of EAO membership is being part of a Europe-wide ‘family’ of clinicians, practitioners and researchers. The EAO creates unique opportunities to meet fellow clinicians and scientists with a particular interest in implant dentistry and its related fields. The annual meeting is a great forum for making new connections and building research networks. In 2009, during the EAO’s annual meeting, I was elected to the Junior Committee. The EAO puts a lot of efforts in promoting young researchers and clinicians, and being an active member of this committee has been very rewarding. My best memory of an EAO event is the plenary session ‘Revolutionary ideas worth spreading’, organised by the Junior Committee during the 2012 meeting in Copenhagen.
 

Professor Dr Christoph Hammerle is based at the University of Zurich Center of Dental Medicine and joined the EAO in 2000 after attending the annual scientific meeting in Bern. He is a former board member and served as EAO President from 2008–2010.

What is EAO for you?

Being a member of the EAO and attending the annual meeting is like a family experience. It’s an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. The congress provides an excellent overview of the field in a short amount of time, as well as opportunities to find out about new research developments and the latest products. The meetings are also held in great locations, with input from local professional associations. Serving as a board member for the EAO was a very rewarding experience. Working together as a group provided opportunities to contribute to the work of the EAO while learning from other board members. The association’s greatest strength is its unwavering focus on promoting really excellent science. There are no ties to industry other than clearly defined partnerships which don’t influence its goals. My best memory is chairing the Zurich meeting in 2006. It was very hard work, but there was a great sense of satisfaction when it all came together.
 

Dr Victor Palarie is working at the Laboratory of Tissue Engineering and Cellular Cultures, Moldova State University of Medicine. He also works in a private practice limited to oral surgery, periodontology and implants, treating patients with systemic diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

What is EAO for you?

I joined the EAO in 2008 when I returned from the US after my fellowship there. It is a very well structured organisation and I find the scientific information and guidelines it publishes very useful. The new patient information tools are extremely helpful. I am a member of the Junior Committee and their work enables a lot of younger people to contribute to the association. The summer camps organised by the Junior Committee have generated a lot of new ideas which we have been able to share with a wider audience at the EAO annual meeting. The Junior Committee also attended the 2nd and 3rd EAO Consensus Conference in 2009 and 2012 enabling members to learn about how these important conferences work. The EAO is unique in providing opportunities for younger members to contribute to the development of the organisation with support from more experienced colleagues. Being an EAO member has helped me develop an international network of contacts, and this has led to international research collaborations.
 

Søren Schou is Professor and Chairman at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Pathology at the School of Dentistry, Health, Aarhus University, in Denmark. He was President of the EAO from 2011–2012.

What is EAO for you?

I joined the EAO in 2005, although I had previously attended meetings both as a delegate and a speaker. I was attracted by the excellent multidisciplinary approach to implant dentistry, which wasn’t related exclusively to surgery or prosthodontics. The link between research and clinical activity is also a very important aspect of the EAO for me. The consensus conferences, along with COIR, enable me to stay up to date with the most recent research developments within the field. Having attended many EAO meetings, I have been able to make contact with a lot of colleagues and establish research collaborations that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. The breadth and independence of the annual meeting is a very important benefit of the EAO. I also think the research competitions provide an excellent platform for the exchange of new research. The huge numbers of abstracts submitted to the meeting give a very clear picture of new developments within research. Two of my best memories of recent EAO events are the ground-breaking presentation on human factors in Copenhagen, and the members dinner at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.
 

Dr Jose Manuel Navarro works in private practice at the Brånemark Osseointegration Center in Spain.

What is EAO for you?

“My decision to join the EAO was influenced by my father, who as an oral surgeon attended the annual EAO meetings when I was very young. The first EAO meeting I went to was in Zurich in 2006. At the time I was studying periodontology and implant dentistry in New York, but was considering moving back to Europe and wanted to find out about current trends in Europe. Since then I have been to the EAO meeting every year, and have had the chance to present my work both as a poster presentation and during the short oral communications session. I had the great experience of attending the first summer camp organised by the Junior Committee, and co-presented the findings from this during the EAO’s Glasgow meeting. The EAO is a truly international organisation, bringing together clinicians and scientists from across the world. It’s a very forward-looking organisation and one that I am proud to be part of. In 2011 I joined the EAO’s Communications Committee as chair of the Website Subcommittee. In 2012 I was elected to the Junior Committee, a position that will enable me to make a bigger contribution to a field that I am passionate about."
 

Dr David Nisand currently works in private practice in Paris dedicated to periodontology and implantology.

What is EAO for you?

I first joined the EAO in 2004 so that I could attend the meeting in Paris that year. I heard about the EAO through my mentor, Dr Franck Renouard. At the time I was a resident in the Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology at the University of Paris 7 and was also being mentored at Dr Renouard’s private practice. The EAO combines a very wide range of expertise and scientific evidence through the annual congress and the consensus conference held every three years. The annual meetings also provide an opportunity to build strong networks. This is especially relevant for young scientists who can sometimes feel quite isolated. I have been actively involved with the EAO since 2007 when I became a member of the Junior Committee. This has given me a real opportunity to become involved with the association. I have many good memories of EAO events. Highlights including giving a lecture at an EAO meeting for the first time (in Zurich in 2005) and being involved with the first EAO summer camp organised by the Junior Committee. In 2009, I was lucky enough to be part of the second EAO consensus conference. It was a great opportunity to be part of an amazing project. The most important aspect of the EAO is that it is a non-profit organisation. This means it is able to promote scientific knowledge without pressure from companies.