Venice Newsletter


Dennis Tarnow Alumni & Friends Symposium with Columbia University College of Dental Medicine: A New Era of Knowledge and Technology in Implant Dentistry Venice Italy, May 25-26, 2012

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Thank you for attending the Dennis Tarnow Alumni & Friends Symposium in Venice last May.  We were thrilled to have over two hundred dental practitioners representing twenty-seven different countries present, offering an incredibly global perspective and extensive knowledge base. Implant Dentistry is constantly evolving through new advances in technology and cutting edge research.  An exchange of ideas and information is crucial in order to keep current.

We hope that by listening to the evidence-based presentations, reading the top ten Implantology articles (Link to Top 10 Articles) and participating in the ensuing discussions you had a rewarding and enlightening academic experience.

The dialogue generated by our excellent moderators, Dr. Robert Eskow, Dr. Marco Esposito and Dr. Francesco Amato, should have helped to further your knowledge and remind you to constantly seek and analyze new  data and trends in the field.

We hope that you enjoyed interacting with your colleagues, reuniting with former classmates and making new friends.

We look forward to welcoming and stimulating you at future conferences.

Dr. Dennis Tarnow, Director, Implant Education
Dr. Sergio Buda, Dr. Elizabeth Moreno, Dr. Donal Blackwell, Executive Organizing Committee

Ground Breaking Two-Day Symposium in Venice Italy
Reviewed by Dr. James B. Fine, Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Programs & Director, Postdoctoral Periodontics, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine

Dr. Dennis Tarnow led a group of international speakers during a two-day symposium which concluded with a keynote presentation given by Dr. Henry Salama, former Director of Implant Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

The program was ground breaking not only for advancing new scientific information in Implantology but in the unique format of the symposium. In addition to short concisely focused presentations that  presented cutting edge information, each topic was followed by a pointed dialogue between the presenter and its distinguished moderators: Dr. Robert Eskow of Columbia University and Dr. Francesco Amato and Dr. Marco Esposito of Italy.  These exchanges gave the audience a better insight into the relevance of the presentation to patient care.  In addition, the conference included a literature review of the top ten Implantology articles from the past twelve months.  Conference participants received the articles in advance of the meeting so that they could review and prepare for the discussions. Abstracts of the articles were then presented by participating clinicians and Dr. Tarnow and the moderators debated the information presented. This resulted in the intersection of scientific literature with each speakers wide ranging clinical expertise.  Interaction by audience members was encouraged, resulting in a lively debate and intellectual exchange of ideas. This new format gave the audience a sense of intimate involvement with the scientific program. Finally, the conference concluded with a keynote presentation by world-renowned expert Dr. Henry Salama who provided insight into implant dentistry as it relates to esthetics.

It is rare at a symposium that both basic science research and clinical applications can be presented side by side in a seamless fashion.  Dr. Tarnow offered insights after each presentation which tied the content together and reflected the relevance.
Basic science presenters included Dr. Ira Lamster, Dean of the College of Dental Medicine who gave a detailed talk on diabetes research, including the important role of dentists in helping to identify patients at risk for diabetes, and how oral health care outcomes were related to systemic glucose content.  At the conclusion of the presentation, the audience had a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the management of the implant patient who may be suffering from diabetes.  Dr. Lamster showed that the well-controlled diabetic can successfully be treated with Implants. However, the clinician needs to be vigilant about the patients’ diabetic control.  

Dr. Jeremy Mao, Senior Associate Dean for Research at Columbia University, gave a fascinating presentation on stem cell research and the quest to regrow teeth or components of teeth like cementum, thereby giving it the potential to add cementum onto Implants.  Dr. Mao has been able to grow a tooth in a rodent model and he assures us that the future is certainly in regenerative medicine and stem cells will have a role in dentistry in the coming years. 

The basic science research portion of the symposium was rounded out by Dr. Sang-Choon Cho of New York University. He gave a presentation on how students in implant training program are quite capable of performing high quality research that can help advance the discipline of implant dentistry.  One of the key areas was identifying potential complications and their management in implant dentistry.

The many clinical presentations were introduced by Dr. Tarnow - who has been fondly called the ‘Banana Man’, a character from a popular TV show in the 1950’s. As stated by Dr. Tarnow, a master clinician must have a wide range of therapies available. He or she may not use them all the time, but when needed an idea is pulled out, like the banana man pulled out another banana from his many pockets.

Dr. Stephen Chu, Associate Clinical Professor at Columbia University and Dr. Tarnow co-presented a riveting talk on whether bone grafting was required to fill in the socket gap in immediate implant placement in the esthetic zone.   This was an extremely provocative presentation, putting forth the following concepts:

  • the graft was not required to have the implant predictably osseointegrate

  • the graft was necessary for proper soft tissue contours

  • bovine bone graft can even be incorporated into the soft tissue with an improved tissue contour and not provoking inflammation

  • every attempt should be made to minimize the number of times the healing and temporary abutments on the implant are removed, thus allowing long term marginal stability of the soft tissue in the esthetic zone.

  • All of this leading to esthetically acceptable soft tissue profile and intact interdental papilla.

These concepts were supported by accompanying presentations. Dr. Teruaki Homma from Japan looked at a new prosthetic protocol to reduce the number of times the healing abutment is removed. The utilization of scanning technology will give dentists the ability to do this, by scanning the abutments for completing the final restorations as opposed to fixture level for impressions.

Next, Dr. Donal Blackwell discussed methods to force erupt anterior teeth prior to extraction to maintain soft tissue architecture. He achieved this through using a uniquely designed bonded bridge and orthodontic elastic.

Finally, Dr. Sergio Buda of Italy brought all these concepts together with his presentation on anterior tooth replacement strategies and considerations.
No speakers dispute more myths of Implant Dentistry than Drs. Gary Greenstein and John Cavallaro (also known Doc Samurai), both from Columbia University.  They discussed how the crown to implant ratio has no significance on outcomes of long term survival of implants.  And maxillary overdentures do not require splinting of implant restoration to have a high degree of success.

The management of implants was the topic of two more presentations. The first was by Dr. Luis Codina of Spain, discussing how Zygoma implants can be a predictable alternative to sinus lifts when replacing molar teeth with implants. 
Not many practitioners think of immediately placing implants at the time of molar extraction. Dr. Richard Smith, a Prosthodontist from Columbia University, presented a classification system to allow the clinician to make the proper decision as to when and how the immediate molar implant can be safely and predictably performed at the time of extraction.

Dr. James Fine, Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Programs at Columbia University discussed bone substitutes and the effects of certain systemic issues in their healing, especially the patients vitamin D levels. Dr. Salama’s keynote address covered a wider range of these topics in a way that the clinician can systematically evaluate their patients, and then treat to get more optimal esthetic results.

As Dr. Tarnow explained, the conference allowed the participants to leave with additional knowledge to assist in the future treatment of their patients.  This was achieved through a more dynamic symposium approach through the incorporation of current literature, engaging moderators and increased audience participation. All in all the conference was a great success and a good time was had by all who joined Dennis in Venice.

The online downloadable recordings of the Tarnow Alumni and Friends Symposium of May 25-26, 2012 are now available both in MP3 or MP4 format!
They can be accessed at the following:

Continuing Education at Columbia University
College of Dental Medicine

Coming up at Columbia University on December 7 & 8th:
The CU/ICOI 3rd Annual Dental Implant Symposium: Transformational Concepts in Dentistry with Scientific Director Dennis Tarnow.
Featuring ten world renowned implantology experts. Register now at

Consider extending your stay in New York City and join us on December 4th & 5th for International Implantology Week:

International Implantology Week

Date & Time
TUES., DEC. 4: 
9:30am - 12:30pm Dr. Stephen Chu
Managing Esthetic Failures on Anterior Dental Implants: Etiologies & Treatment Solutions

1:30-4:30pm Dr. Dennis Tarnow
When to Save or Extract a Tooth in the Esthetic Zone

WED., DEC. 5:
9am-12pm Dr. Arnold S. Weisgold
Esthetic & Gingival Considerations for the Anterior Implant Restoration

1-4pm Dr. Christos Angelopoulos
Successful Incorporation of Cone-beam CT into the
Implant Practice: Anatomy, Diagnostics,
Complications and More

THURS., DEC. 6: Free Day

(all day) and SAT., DEC. 8 (morning)
3rd Annual CU/ICOI Implant Symposium: Transformational Concepts in Implantology

Note: Columbia University CDM will register you for the Symposium if you attend International Week.

(If attending Symposium ONLY - you must register with ICOI directly,

Columbia University (Morningside Campus)
Alfred Lerner Hall
Broadway at 115th Street
New York City

Registration Fee
$600 (Tues and Wed only)
$1200 (includes ICOI Symposium)

Note: Option to attend Tues. & Wed. sessions only if you are unable to participate on Friday and Saturday.
Contact CE office for details.

10% CDM Alumni
20% Young CDM Alumni (2008-2012)

Discounts also apply for those who have previously completed the mini-implant residency or the Implantology or Esthetic Dentistry Continuums.

Inquiries: 212/305-7124

Tel: (212) 305-7124 / 6881

Register now at:

For additional information on upcoming courses at Columbia College of Dental Medicine go to

For further information email the CE Office at or call 212-305-7124.