Prof. Dr. Tabea Flügge

Digital technologies for the reconstruction of complex facial defects

Digital imaging and computer-aided treatment planning in oral and maxillofacial surgery are the main focus of Prof. Dr. Tabea Flügge. Since March 2020 she is professor at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Born in Berlin, she studied dentistry at theCharité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and completed her advanced training in oral surgery at the University Hospital in Freiburg. During her specialist dental training, Tabea Flügge already worked at the Clinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, where she emphasises the cooperation in the reconstruction of complex facial defects. As a result of trauma or malignant diseases, a gradual reconstruction of parts of the facial skull up to the reconstruction of the teeth and the masticatory system is carried out in these cases with the aim of restoring the patient's quality of life by normal speaking and eating.

For the reconstruction of the diverse structures of the facial skull and the masticatory system, medical imaging comes into play. Tabea Flügge worked on this topic during her habilitation, which she also completed at the Albert-Ludwigs-University. During treatment, the three-dimensional representation of the anatomy using optical and X-ray-based procedures lays the foundation for its restoration. In her research to date, she has been able to show which imaging techniques can be used for the special requirements of the oral cavity and in which areas there are limitations of digital technologies. She has developed her research questions primarily from clinical practice and thus focuses on translation. Tabea Flügge's research focuses on the application of magnetic resonance imaging in dentistry. This makes areas accessible for imaging that were previously not accessible with x-ray-based imaging.

From her point of view, the next step is to automate individual steps of treatment planning based on anatomical data and using algorithms that can help the individual dentist to achieve a successful therapy.

How do the data collected in medicine and in other areas overlap? What common concepts exist in the use of this data in the context of digitization? Which procedures from other disciplines can be used for our questions? With regard to these and other questions, she is looking forward to working with her colleagues from the ECDF.