This year’s British Endodontic Society (BES) marked 2017 with its annual Spring Scientific Meeting at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London last month.

More than 230 delegates, including general and specialist practitioners, clinical academics and dental students, joined the society for a day of lectures from leading experts, a presidential ceremony, presentation of prizes and the prestigious lifetime contribution to the specialty award.

Outgoing President Mike Waplington handed over the chains of office to BS Chong, the society’s new president.

‘I am looking forward to an exciting year with the British Endodontic Society,’ said Chong. ‘I hope, with the support of enthusiastic and energetic council members, to promote the aims of the society and ensure that our activities, events and initiatives are accessible to all, not just specialists.’

Talks and surprises

The first keynote speaker was Dr Hal Duncan from Trinity College, Dublin, whose presentation ‘New visions for the vital pulp – do we need to keep digging a hole for ourselves?’, highlighted concerns over the destructive nature of dental treatment that has led to the examination of novel methodologies and development of regenerative biologically-based treatments for the damaged dental pulp.

Dr Duncan spoke of the exciting opportunities that exist for minimally-invasive treatment procedures, which help maintain pulp vitality and the development of a new generation of dental materials, targeted at biological processes, which promote repair.

Irrigation techniques very frequently promise miracles

Dr Duncan was followed by Dr Christos Boutsioukis from ACTA, the Netherlands, on the current focus and and challenges of root canal irrigation. Dr Boutsioukis described how modern irrigation techniques very frequently promise miracles in terms of irrigant penetration, cleaning and disinfection of the root canal system.

However, he stated that there are only a few independent clinical studies evaluating their performance and their results are often unfavourable. Moreover, based on currently available evidence, the increasingly popular idea of minimally invasive root canal preparation seems incompatible with most of the available irrigation techniques.

After the lunch break, Professor Josette Camilleri from Malta covered ‘Current concepts and future directions in root canal obturation’. She focused on the importance of root canal obturation in clinical endodontics, and described how the materials used inside the root canal need to be optimised and the technique used has to be specific to the materials employed.

The increasingly popular idea of minimally invasive root canal preparation seems incompatible with most of the available irrigation techniques

The final presentation on surgical endodontics was given by Professor Bill Saunders, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. Before starting his presentation, the society surprised Professor Saunders by presenting him with a certificate of appreciation in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the specialty of endodontics.

Fine-tuning the everyday

Among the delegates was a group of students from Liverpool University Dental Hospital. Dr Rob Jacobs, a specialist trainee, commented: ‘Today was very interesting and informative.

‘I especially liked listening to Hal Duncan – he was inspiring through his enthusiasm and humour. He makes me really think about my daily work and how I can fine-tune my clinical management.’

‘We were delighted with the turnout,’ commented BES chief operations officer Annabel Thomas. ‘The meeting was so popular that we had to generate a waiting list and the feedback afterwards was excellent. We are pleased that our events attract interest across the dental profession.’

To find out more about the BES, visit