The future of Dental Rehabilitation

Posted: 25th October 2023 14:34

A interview with Dr Fernando Duarte (Clitrofa – Centro Médico, Dentário e Cirúrgico, Lda)
Established in 2002, Clitrofa is a dentistry surgery set up by Dr Fernando Duarte and Dr Carina Ramos. Now operating as a multipurpose clinic for patients looking for treatment in the field of aesthetics and rehabilitation in oral, facial and body terms, the company also runs a laboratory to develop state-of-the-art dental prosthetics, and an education academy to expand the horizons of healthcare professionals in the region.
With countless qualifications and many years of experience under his belt, Dr Fernando is rapidly becoming one of the leading experts in the field. We got together with him to find out more about his experience, and the benefits of the Clitrofa clinic for both patients and healthcare professionals.
Can you tell us about your professional medical background?
I graduated in dentistry from the Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde do Norte. A month after graduation, I joined the Eastman Dental Institute at University College London, where I completed postgraduate and master's degrees in oral and maxillofacial surgery. As a doctoral candidate in a joint project between University College London and the University of Oxford, I felt the urge to pass on knowledge and experience to future generations.
I have 20 years of teaching experience in the areas of oral surgery, implantology and oral medicine at two higher education institutions, namely, CESPU and ISAVE. I currently provide consultancy for companies in the medical and dental sector, such as S.I.N. Implant System, NSK, Curasan and MedTechDental (MTD). I am the scientific coordinator of the Clitrofa Education Academy and a member of the editorial committee of several journals, including Scientific Archives of Dental Science (SAODS), SVOA Dentistry and O JornalDentistry.
I also regularly take part in clinical activity at Clitrofa-Medical, Dental and Surgical Center where I perform the functions of CEO, clinical director and am responsible for the Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery and Implantology.
One of my wishes was to implement laser surgery at Clitrofa, as well as other laser treatments. Last year we acquired Fotona LightWalker, a fabulous surgical laser, which allowed us to offer our patients less invasive treatments with much faster recovery times and far less pain!
I completed a Fotona "Laser Expert" certification, and this year, I enrolled in the Master LASER DENTISTRY Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome, to specialise and evolve in the field of Laser Surgery.
What led you to go into the field of surgery and implantology?
During my degree in dentistry, oral surgery was the training area which I identified with the most, and it was for that reason that I decided to become Master of Science in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London.
This full-time training required an intense dedication, but allowed the acquisition of theoretical, practical, and technical knowledge that enabled the implementation of my own project in Portugal.
In what ways can the services offered at Clitrofa change the lives of its patients?
Clitrofa offers comprehensive and holistic treatments to its patients. It is equipped with all the necessary complementary means of diagnosis, it is organised by medical and dental specialties, it has a surgical unit and a dental laboratory equipped with the latest technology.
We have the ability to cater to patients from any country, carry out the necessary exams, operate on the patient in a surgical environment and carry out immediate fixed dental rehabilitation, all in less than 12 hours.
What is the Clitrofa Education Academy and how can it benefit other healthcare professionals?
Clitrofa has an area of 3,600m2 divided into four areas of intervention: the clinic, the surgical unit with general anaesthesia, the dental lab, and the education academy.
The Clitrofa Education Academy offers courses and clinical residencies to other healthcare professionals (dentists, dental assistants, and dental technicians) in order to share and improve work protocols. This type of training has been open to national and international students, leading to the creation of an annual continuous training programme.
We were particularly excited about the recent technological development partnership between yourself and NSK-Japan. Can you tell us more about this?
The partnership with NSK-Japan was aimed at creating a new contra-angle for the surgery of zygomatic implants. This type of implant is used in atrophic jaws with a high standard of bone resorption. Aiming to raise the quality of the instruments available to perform this type of surgical intervention, this equipment has a specific angle that optimises access to the zygomatic bone and substantially improves visibility. It has an external irrigation system that efficiently cools the treatment area and the drill bit, a unique sealing system to prevent contaminants from entering the instrument and a surface treatment of the part that allows for better reprocessing. This versatility adds value to the different intraoperative approaches and the positioning of zygomatic implants in the maxillary arch. It was produced and catalogued with the reference: CA Zygomatic SGX-E20R, and has worldwide distribution.
Do you have any other technological developments in the pipeline?
Yes, we have! Another completed project was the development of a new zygomatic implant with the company S.I.N. Implant System in Brazil. It is an implant with several structural changes, namely: intermediate body without turns, surface with double acid attack in the apical and cervical regions, angled head of 45º, apical diameter of Ø3.85mm, cervical diameter of Ø4.5mm and body diameter Ø3.10mm.
How do you hope to expand on what you have achieved so far with Clitrofa in the coming years?
Our projects involve the consolidation of established partnerships and the termination of on-going actions. The expansion of the technological and research platform in the medical and dental area is our priority, with the incorporation of new areas of collaboration such as biomedical engineering and systems engineering.
Finally, we hope to increase in the number of partnerships in terms of training with the creation and participation of programmes in multiple countries in order to optimise products, techniques and protocols.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
In 2019, I was awarded the ‘Portuguese of Value’ prize, in an annual event that is organised by Lusopress, a company based in Paris that aims to recognise and reward Portuguese people who stand out in various areas of professional activity. All prizes are important – a result of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and team spirit! They work like golden pieces of a puzzle in the career of each professional.
However, I am essentially a team leader, whose motto is “the impossible only takes another five minutes”. I am used to not giving up, a believer by conviction, seriously organised and punctual. My job is to show that projects are possible and to create the conditions for them to thrive, then all the merit is for the team.
This year we increased our physical space with a 1400m2 car park, to offer our patients a safe and comfortable place to leave their vehicles during consultations.
Fernando Duarte (Clitrofa - Centro Médico, Dentário e Cirúrgico, Lda) has been awarded Dentistry Professional of the Year – Portugal by the Corporate LiveWire Innovation and Excellence Awards. The judging panel were particularly impressed by Dr Fernando’s experience and expertise in the area of surgery and implantology, as well as the technological advancements the clinic has achieved in partnership with NSK-Japan. For more information, please visit