From the Editor's Desk

Bone grafting has been a constant hot topic in the field of implant dentistry for several decades. It is also relevant as bone is often missing or insufficient in the edentulous jaw, thus preventing clinicians from proper placement of dental implants without any further surgical interventions to (re)establish the bony housing. New materials, new procedures or combinations of both have helped to create momentum and come up with innovative approaches. Grafting of bone in the maxilla or mandible can be done prior to or simultaneously with the insertion of dental implants - and might be even needed during the follow-up of patients when treating peri-implant disease. As with every dynamic technique in medicine and dentistry, knowledge of the biologic principles and surgical approaches available is key to successful outcomes and happy patients.

I'm very proud to present a series of articles on the topic of materials and procedures for bone grafting in the jaws by world renowned experts in the field in this issue of the Forum Implantologicum. The first article is by Prof. Jensen from Copenhagen, Denmark, who is discussing and assessing biomaterials available for bone grafting procedures. Thus, this article creates the scientific foundation and rationale for the more clincially oriented contributions that follow. Prof. Kühl from Basel, Switzerland elaborates on the current possibilities and limitations of horizontal bone augmentation. This article is contrasted by an overview of more complex surgical approaches to replace missing bone by Prof. Polido from Indianapolis, USA - an update on vertical bone grafting procedures. As sinus floor elevation is one of the most frequently performed vertical grafting procedures, we have invited Prof. Wu and his group from Shanghai, China to provide a review of current materials and approaches for this surgical option. Last but not least – and as I have already mentioned that innovation is key and the driver for the entire field – Prof. Tahmaseb offers a glimpse into his crystal ball with an emphasis on the cutting edge and future of bone augmentation procdures. Overall, no matter how extensive or complicated treatment options are, we should always remember that they all serve one purpose - to benefit our patients.

By contrast, we are taking a look into ongoing research in the ITI community by sharing data and findings from a randomized controlled trial on the topic of mandibular implant-supported overdentures with CAD-CAM milled bars and distal extensions of retentive anchors in our "Meet the researchers" section. In this issue, you will also find an interview with the winners of the 2021 André Schroeder Research prizes – Dr. Benjamin Coyac and Assoc. Prof. Payer – who were presented with their prizes at the recent ITI World Symposium 202ONE online. And finally, don’t miss the “Ask the experts” feature, where three specialists discuss the potential and value of composite grafts for bone augmentation.

As always, I wish you happy and informative reading!

Michael Bornstein