Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Anaplastology Conference

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Well, I’m back from the International Anaplastology Association Conference in sunny Sarasota, Florida now.  It was a lovely event, and so great to get to meet so many people working in anaplastology and hear their stories and what they’re up to.  We also teamed up with the International Symposium of Bone Conduction Hearing-Craniofacial Osseointegration this time, so there was a bit of a crash course for many of us in the details of bone conduction hearing aides, though most of the lectures remained separate.

The first day, some were busy taking certification exams for anaplastology.  I haven’t done this myself, nor am I even close to being qualified to take them (it takes 18 cases, handled solely start to finish, and photo documented along the way), but it seemed like those who did were relieved to be done afterward.  And what better way to relax after a test like that, or get to meet people for the first time if you’re like me and only just got there, than to have everyone out to the hotel’s beach house for a meet and greet get together with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a little music, and a positively stellar view of the sunset.

Then bright and early Thursday morning, we kicked off the lectures with an opening ceremony followed by our first two invited lecturers, Barbara Boyan, and Anders Tjellström.  Barbara spoke on “Cell-Material Interactions: What They Mean Clinically,” and Anders spoke on “The Evolution of Titanium Implants.”  After that, we broke into anaplastology specific lectures and bone-conduction hearing lectures, with workshops happening at the same time in other rooms.

Personally, I stuck with the anaplastology lectures all day Thursday, and again on Friday morning.  There was a great deal of emphasis throughout these lectures on matters of surgical success in the placement of implants with regard to both the osseointegration of the implants into bone, as well as the peri-abutment tissue, and avoiding skin reactions there.  There was also a lot of talk about measurement and new technology for dealing with 3D forms as we do.

Then Friday afternoon, I attended my first of the workshops offered.  It was David Trainer’s “Mold Making: Materials and Techniques,” wherein he went over the use of some different materials he’s worked with to make sturdier, lighter, and yet very detailed molds.  I know I’d like to give some of those materials a test drive myself.

After his workshop, came another workshop in “Color Science and Acuity in Anaplastology.”  This one, I believe was put together by Paul Tanner, but then presented by Art Schmehling of X-Rite.  He spoke of various color systems, and how lighting affects color.  He brought attention to the inherent weaknesses we share of being able to remember colors with precision, and our susceptibility to color fatigue.  One interesting recommendation he had was to keep a space in the room where you see a patient for color matching painted a good neutral gray so that your color matching isn’t compromised by the surrounding environment.  He also mentioned briefly a bit about metalics and how they affect perceived depth.  I don’t believe that I’ve written about it here, but I’ve been mulling over some ideas about metalics in silicone for the last couple weeks.  So after the workshop, I was really excited to get to ask a few questions of a bona fide color expert about my thoughts there.

Saturday we only had a half day there.  We began with two more invited speakers as per our usual program openers.  Ichiro Nishimura’s “Systems Biology and Genetic Networks of Osseointegration” lecture was particularly interesting I thought.  He told us about his work at UCLA, and it sounds like they are finding a connection between vitamin D deficiency and osseointegration failure.  I’d never heard of that before, but if you type in vitamin d, and osseointegration into Google, you get a lot of links from research being done in this direction.  You also get some information about a circadian rhythm connection, which he brought up as well.  I won’t even attempt to try to tackle explaining his work in any depth here, but I would recommend that you look for it if you are interested.

And then the conference wrapped up with one last round, for which I chose to go back to the workshop room again, and hear a panel discussion on “Creative Problem Solving for Challenging Craniofacial Cases,” featuring Julie Jordan Brown, Gillian Duncan, Susan Habakuk, and Greg Gion (who started the clinic where I am presently interning.)  This was a nice opportunity to listen to the kinds of strategies more experienced anaplastologists have taken with their more complicated cases.

All in all, it was a very educational event, and a great opportunity to meet people and better understand the whole of the anaplastology field.  I’m so glad that I went.

Written by Sara

March 28th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

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