The topics of change and working as a team were major players at this year’s BDA Conference and Exhibition in Manchester.
There were an estimated 5,000 delegates attending the three-day event at the Manchester Central Convention Complex (formerly G-MEX and the adjacent Manchester International Convention Centre).
The city’s high-ceiled former Central Station accommodated a record number of 180 exhibition stands and this year’s BDA theme – Strategies for success: you and your team – was hammered home.
No attendee could ignore the fact that GDC registration for dental nurses and dental technicians is rapidly racing to its finishing line on 31 July – and CPD requirements for the whole team was also high on the agenda for discussion.
With NHS dentistry currently a bit of a political football, there was also much debate on the subject of the demise of the NHS dentist, the implications two years on from the April 2006 contract and the problems arising from PCT commissioning.
New technologies and the increasing interest in treatments such as Botox and the development of facial aesthetics also came under the spotlight.
The masses thronged through the stands at the exhibition hall and the young starter dentists from dental schools throughout the country had a strong presence.
The conference was kicked off with a keynote address by 400m Olympic medallist and World Champion Roger Black MBE that reflected the Strategies for success… theme.
His speech and anecdotes dealt with changes, too, and the importance if teamwork.
Tentatively comparing the world of dentistry to the sports world, he did manage to make a valid point on the similarities between a relay team and the dental team.
‘There is a lot of trust and understanding in both contexts,’ he said.
‘Having run both individual and team events, he said, ‘individual success is great but you can’t share it with anyone.
‘Great teams,’ he added ‘are made up of great individuals.’
His tales of ‘learning more during the bad times’ may have given hope to many of the dentists in the auditorium, feeling that these are, indeed, the bad times for some and teamwork – when it comes to GDC registration and CPDs for the whole practice – will inevitably count in the long term.