embraceThe spirit of multidisciplinary dental care was on show in Birmingham today as the 3rd Pan Dental Society Conference got underway.

Hundreds of dentists made the journey to the UK’s second city for the third conference of its kind.

The event brought together four of the largest restorative dental societies – the British Endodontic Society (BES), the British Society of Periodontology (BSP), the British Society for Restorative Dentistry (BSRD), and the British Society of Prosthodontics (BSSPD).

Fittingly, the call to embrace a multidisciplinary approach to dentistry ran throughout the event.

Dr Anthony Summerwill, leading an engaging lecture on ‘Endodontics in a world of implants’, was unequivocal about working together.

He explained: ‘The restorative bubble – in terms of the patients and problems we treat – is getting smaller and smaller, and it’s hard to look beyond that bubble. That’s what’s great about this meeting – it’s bringing different disciplines together.’

Progressive dentistry

The emphasis throughout was firmly on progressive dental care and saving teeth, as one of the opening speakers – Dr Lars Laurell – reiterated in his introduction to a packed BSP lecture theatre.

Dr Laurell, godfather of the Eastman’s specialist periodontal training, went on a veritable tour de force of periodontology. He drew on 40 years of research to demonstrate the specialty’s huge potential to save patients teeth.

He added: ‘Every patient that presents at your practice with disease will do so differently, and each one needs special, personalised care.’

Dr Laurell was discussing perio specifically but his words applied equally to every corner of the conference.

Elsewhere, the huge strides forward in modern endodontics were thrust into the spotlight as speakers looked at the concepts, techniques and technology making ground in the field.

The overriding sense at the event was one of progress and excitement as the theme of new technology came up time and time again.

Professor Andreas Braun shared his enthusiasm with the audience as he discussed laser therapy, concluding – despite his lecture’s subtitle of ‘Is it just a gimmick?’ – that it has a large role to play.

‘Today’s uses of laser therapy are largely adjunctive,’ he said. ‘But they are effective.

‘There is no “all in one” laser for every indication yet. But nevertheless, it is more than a gimmick – it is evidence-based dentistry. Laser therapy can improve outcomes as an adjunct, and in some applications provide better performance than conventional approaches alone.’

Before the event, Dr Phil Ower, current president of the BSP and chair of the Pan Dental organising committee, had promised a unique and exciting event.

Even without the groundbreaking sessions scheduled for the Saturday – featuring clinical presentations made in 3D on a scale unprecedented in the UK – the event more than lived up to its high billing.