International movement of professional dental associations on free implantation and prosthesis of toothless elderly people | Асоціація Імплантологів України


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International movement of professional dental associations on free implantation and prosthesis of toothless elderly people


The number of edentulous people is substantial worldwide and, as dentists, we realize how much they suffer. We know that these people, especially the older ones, do not complain. They consider it normal to be edentulous at their age. We also know that dental implants can change their lives Dental implantation is the only solution for absolutely edentulous people. There is no other way to gain back the full quality of life. But only implantologists are aware of this. . However, we speak about that only at our professional symposiums and meetings and hope to be heard by somebody. While striving to first implement and then achieve new European and global standards in treatment of patients. But those that suffer and those that make decisions don’t hear us. They just don’t attend our meetings!

What do people know about dental implants? Dentists are almost never mentioned in the media . Normally, the public only sees advertisements for tooth paste and denture cream. And even if they see something else, they think that dental implants are only for a “Hollywood smile”, which they believe is extremely expensive.

Having realized that our society, both the general public and government, never heard about the fact that dental implants were invented to treat edentulous patients, we have initiated a professional project “Quality of Life for Our Parents”. This project offers free implant treatment for the elderly.

During the past year, the socially unprotected elderly over the age of 80 were treated with about 1500 implants placed by 400 volunteer dentists from all over Ukraine. Private dental clinics carried on the treatment with fixed dentures, also free of charge. The oldest patient was 93 years old.


Doctors volunteers during the "quality of life for our parents" in Kyiv, June 25 2010.

Our assumptions concerning low level public awareness about implants have been confirmed. We can say that all our patients were volunteers and had absolutely no prior knowledge about the surgery, or its results. All the patients were informed about the implant surgery and we assumed they were completely aware of the outcome. However, about 100 people cancelled their surgery. Some of them cancelled after they found out that implant placement was a surgery, others cancelled after they realized they needed to stay in a hospital for the procedure. This way or the other, neither those patients who cancelled their surgeries, nor those who agreed, had ever heard about dental implants.

To operate in hosting hospitals, the dentists provided all necessary credentials (e.g. copies of diploma and license certificates). It was the first time that doctors from state and military hospitals, private practices, and universities gathered together once a month in different cities. They met in military or civil hospitals, where they placed 100 to 300 implants a day. Surgeons, prosthodontists, nurses, and hospital staff worked as one team. Implant companies became our partners and supplied dental teams with free implants. All the implants used were officially certified.


Doctors volunteers during the "quality of life for our parents" in Sevastopol, 11/25/2010

All the patients received the necessary examinations like orthopantomogram, blood analysis, and fluorography. They were carefully screened, received medical clearance from hospital specialists, and were hospitalized for five days (two days before their surgery and three days after it).

In every city this project was conducted as a military operation. These dentists never worked together before, as well as never operated in the hosting hospital prior to the event. All the participating specialists were divided into teams. Each team consisted of four members – a surgeon, a prosthodontist and two assistants. We had an active Logistic center, where all the participants could get the necessary information. Each participant knew where his/her work area was (scrubbing area, operation room, prosthetic room), as well as where his patient was at any time. Each surgeon received a patient’s chart and evaluated a radiograph 15-30 minutes before the surgery. Each surgeon operated on no more than three patients a day.

In spite of different convictions and opinions, all the doctors were following a single protocol – four parallel inserted implants with abutments in intramental space of the edentulous mandible. After the surgeries, the patients were escorted to prosthetic rooms where prosthodontists inserted prefabricated temporary acrylic dentures.

The surgeons operated in surgical operatories utilizing real surgical tables which were considerably different from their usual dental chairs in their private practices. Surgical light and suction was supplied by the hospital. Surgical motors and all necessary implant equipment were supplied by operating dentists.

Some doctors were singing while operating, while some were watching the surgery and having a feeling of observing a master class with renowned specialists. Journalists were interviewing dentists and anesthesiologists who were genuinely proud of their work. We should note that at the beginning of the project the general mood of dentists was a bit strange. They were very cautious at first, but then it turned into real satisfaction and feeling of happiness. This feeling of satisfaction was not only because of their professional pride but also because of social responsibility and raised awareness of a charitable cause. This is important, since dentists are seldom involved in any charity or social projects.


Doctors volunteers during the "quality of life for our parents" in Kyiv, 27.05.2011 р.

Reports about all the surgeries were presented during the 5th East-European Congress of Dental Implantation in Lviv, Ukraine on March 10-12, 2011. Quintessence Publishing awarded the best surgeon and the best prosthodontist prizes to two dentists.

Present at the Congress were world known specialists: Chantal Malevez, Karl-Erick Kahnberg, Carlo Maiorana, Pascal Valentini, Fouad Khoury, Rafi Romano, Marcus Schlee, Istvan Urban and others. There they learned about our project. Some of them agreed to attend our next event in Kiev as international observers and volunteer surgeons.

It is clear that we can not replace state programs, but we can attract the attention of the public and governments to the existing problem and implement the required standards in the whole world. We are sure the professional association is not only about the interests of its members and congresses, but is also about a social activity. It makes it less formal, livelier, and gives its members a chance to share experiences, skills, and lobby new ideas and social standards.

We should also note that our project was supported in other countries. The first stage of our project took place in Warsaw (Poland) and on the 12th September, 2011 in Moscow (Russia), on the 15th of October, 2011 in Tbilisi (Georgia).
In total 13 charity events that were held. 10 of them took place in Ukraine. As a result nearly 350 elderly were treated with about 1500 implants free of charge during the last year.
We cordially invite you to Kiev on May 24-25, 2012 where we plan to perform surgeries on 100 patients in a military hospital. We plan to place 400 implants and insert temporary dentures the same day. With the assistance of 25 anesthesiology teams, we will simultaneously operate in 30 surgical rooms and 30 prosthodontists rooms.

Yaroslav Zablotskyy – president of Ukrainian Dental Implantology Association

Myron Uhryn – president of Ukrainian Association of Dentists in Private Practice

Your opinion is important to us. If you would like to leave us a note, start a similar project in your country, would like to hear about our experience, or if you would like to visit and observe our project in action, please write to: