Germany was the first country I visited when I started travelling to Europe in 1993. At that time, Thai citizens could travel easy to Germany, Norway and New Zealand without a visa. This enabled me to arrange my itinerary within five days. I have been to Germany four times in the last 11 years and have spent nearly a month there on every trip. Coincidence I visited Heidelberg 5 times during my several trip to Germany.Tourists should see the ruins at Heidelberg, a World War II battle site.
Also worth seeing is Heidelberg Castle, which was built on the mountain and is renowned for its architecture. From several vantage points here, you can see the Neckar River. By tradition, visitors should flick a coin down into the river and make a wish. During one of my trips here, I arrived late and was unable to enter the castle. I decided to walk through the garden on the way to the terrace where I made a wish.
It worked! Exactly 11 years after first setting foot in Heidelberg, I was there again in September last year to attend a workshop on dental implantation. The invitation came from no less than Dr. Fred Bergmann, one of the world’s most renowned implantologist. It was autumn. Rain and gusty wind made it a lot colder. My colleague from Bangkok, Dr. Smerkhae and I arrived in the city by Mercedes.
The history of dental implant started from ancient Egypt til 1952. The quantum leap in oral implantology was achieved in 1952 in the Laboratory of Vital Microscopy at the University of Lund, Sweden, by a Swedish research team headed by orthopedic surgeon Per Ingvar Branemark.
Using rabbits in the research, Dr. Branemark’s team designed an optical chamber housed in a titanium metal cylinder screwed into the rabbit’s thigh bone. After several months, the titanium cylinder was found bonded to the bone. Dr. Branemark called this phenomenon “osseointegration.” Based on this finding, titanium has become the metal of choice in dental application. Further research resulted in the design of a cylindrical titanium screw with a specific surface treatment to enhance its bioacceptance.
(Photo on the left shows the original titanium screw compare with the new update implant.)