A three-day International Conference on Oral-Facial Rehabilitation was held at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, from March 23-25, 2017, to explore options and methodologies to rehabilitate patients with major oral and facial deformities. Prominent head and neck surgeons, maxillofacial rehabilitation specialists, international faculty members and scientists deliberated on a wide spectrum of topics relating to restoring oral functions and reconstructing the facial structure in patients with oro-facial defects.

Swami Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanandamayi Math, inaugurated the conference.Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Hospital, presided over the gathering. Dr. Subramania Iyer, Head, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Amrita Hospital; Dr. Balagopal Varma, Principal, Amrita School of Dentistry and Dr. Manju V., Professor, Dept. of Prosthodontics, Amrita School of Dentistry, spoke during the inaugural session. 

Dr. Subramania Iyer explained that the importance of the field of Maxillofacial Prosthetics stating that oro-facial defects can occur mainly due to cancer, trauma, infection or congenital defects. Cancer affecting the head and neck are highly debilitating, in terms of physical as well as mental status of the patient. "Experts in the field strive for betterment of these patients carrying out advanced surgery followed by prosthetic means," he said. 

“The highlight of the conference was an outreach programme and workshop held by the Foundation for Oral and Facial Rehabilitation (FFOFR) headed by Dr. John Beumer, the pioneer in maxillofacial prosthetics, accompanied by his proficient team,” Dr. Manju V., Organising Secretary said. The programme had speakers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and San Francisco (UCSF) who provided comprehensive lectures and discussions on surgical management and prosthetic rehabilitation.

On its first day, the conference held crucial scientific sessions on restoration of facial defects, ocular defects, auricular defects, orbital defects, nasal defects, large midfacial defects, use of dental implants to retain facial prostheses, restoration of tongue-mandible defects, use of implants in the restoration of tongue-mandible defects, palatal speech aids and laboratory sessions. Scientific deliberations on restoration of hard palate defects and soft palate defects were held on the second day. 

Special sessions presented latest research, innovative techniques, use of most advanced equipments, software and technologies in oral and maxillofacial surgeries. Prominent international faculty who addressed the conference were: Teoh Khim Hean, National Dental Centre, Singapore; and UCLA and UCSF members- Ting Ling Chang, Evelyn Chung, Arun Sharma, Jay Jayanetti, Dave Parks, Kumar Shah, Don Pedroche and Tomomi Baba. Around 500 delegates participated in the exclusive hands-on sessions pertaining to ocular and facial defects.

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NIRF 2017