IDEM Singapore 2014 saw more than 500 exhibitors from 38 countries showcasing the latest innovations in clinical dentistry, dental technology and patient care across every segment of the dental market, covering restorative and preventive treatments, surgical procedures and equipment, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and laboratory tools. The IDEM Singapore trade fair was the largest staged at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre since it was refurbished, and the first ever to fill both floors of exhibition space covering 16,000 sqm. The trade fair and conference welcomed 7,842 participants from 61 countries over three and a half days.
ESRO, the Swiss manufacturer of dental care products, attending IDEM Singapore for the second time, had an excellent experience according to its general manager Mr Patrick Sutter: ‘IDEM Singapore has been excellent for us. We came from Switzerland to build contacts in Asian markets. We've made some good contacts and had some good conversations. Every contact and every discussion has been fruitful. We do not sell direct here from the fair so the results will be afterwards, but we are positive there will be good results. We will definitely consider coming back.’
A launchpad for new products in Asia
IDEM Singapore is increasingly seen as the gateway to Asia for dental manufacturers and distributors wishing to break into Asian markets and this was reflected in the high number of first time exhibitors; 170, or 30%, were new to IDEM Singapore this year.
First time exhibitors, Prophytec from France, brought several unique, patented products to IDEM Singapore to look for distribution partners in the Asia-Pacific region. Emmanuel Guigon, the commercial and export manager, reported: ‘We have had a lot of interest from Asian dentists who have not seen our products before. The dentists were very impressed but we are not selling products at the exhibition, we are really here to meet possible distribution partners for Asian countries. We have had some interesting conversations with potential distributors, but of course that is just the start of a process that might take months to settle.’
Many other exhibitors were IDEM Singapore veterans returning to what is a tried and tested platform for reaching an Asian client base.
Illuminating the future of dentistry
IDEM Singapore 2014 proved itself to be not only a ‘must-attend’ event for dental practitioners and professionals in the Asia-Pacific looking for the latest cutting edge technology and innovations in dental solutions and services at its trade fair, but also a ‘must-attend’ scientific conference.
The conference theme this year was ‘Dentistry – The future is now’ with the programme focusing on the future of dentistry, addressing the challenges and the procedural and technical advances in the various fields of dentistry. The extensive scientific conference ran for three and a half days, and featured 45 different sessions and 36 international speakers.
Dr John Burgess, the assistant dean for clinical research at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, United States, knows all about the ‘The future is now’. He gave two well-attended and fascinating lectures on Vital Pulp Therapy, and Effective Efficient Tooth Coloured Restorations. There is still a long way to go in the field of vital pulp therapy but Dr Burgess believes it might one day revolutionise the way we do dentistry. ‘It is fascinating to think that one day in the not too distant future we might be able to repair a tooth with stem cells or even grow a living tooth for implant.’ Dr Burgess thinks this is a time of wonderful opportunity for Asian dentists, especially those in south east Asian countries with rapidly expanding middle classes and a new generation of dentists to cater to them. ‘In the past, restorations were expensive, when we worked with metal-based materials that required lengthy, almost handmade processing. That put restorations beyond the reach of many people but today with ceramics and composite resins, and CAD/CAM imaging and milling technologies, they are both more affordable and affordable to more people.’
Another IDEM Singapore speaker, Professor Ken Hargreaves, the professor of pharmacology and physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in the United States also enjoyed the event. ‘It's been a very fruitful event; for my talks on Successful Management of Acute Dental Pain, Issues in Managing the Persistent Endodontic Infection and Regenerative Endodontic, I've met participants from all over the world, such as Cambodia, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand and even from as far as the United Kingdom.’
Looking ahead to 2016 and beyond
Dr Kuan Chee Keong, president of the Singapore Dental Association (SDA) and chairperson of the IDEM Singapore 2014 Committee, said ‘The Singapore Dental Association helps to promote the professionalism of dentistry through our support of continuing education programmes like IDEM Singapore, with a world-class conference, to help the dental team keep up with advances in dentistry. Through our community outreach and friendship with the various dental associations in the region, we hope to continue to spread the importance of continuing education and to increase the participation from the dental teams in Asia coming to IDEM Singapore.’
‘As dental markets in the region continue to develop and reach out to embrace the globalisation of dentistry and the opportunities it presents, IDEM Singapore will continue to play a strategic role for its exhibitors in facilitating that development and outreach. We will continue to strengthen IDEM Singapore’s position as the preferred platform for companies looking to launch new dental solutions in Asia, by continuing to bring in the key buyers from the region. We hope that IDEM Singapore will grow to become, not only a gateway to Asian markets, but also a portal to the rest of the world’ said Mr Michael Dreyer, Asia-Pacific vice president, Koelnmesse.
The next edition of IDEM Singapore will be staged from April 8 – 10, 2016.