Not another Zoom call

The IDA Annual Conference goes virtual for 2021 and will be a professional, expert-led, educational event.

The IDA Annual Conference 2021, ‘Online World: In-Person Dentist’, will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, on a unique conference management platform. The online nature of the event has allowed the IDA to secure a top-class roster of 30 international speakers. Some of the topics they will be discussing include:

  • vaping, tobacco and dental health;
  • facial aesthetics;
  • aesthetic management of incisor opacities in children; and,
  • the politics and economics of dental care – why it matters.

The Annual Conference has always provided dentists with a social outlet and it would be remiss of the IDA if this wasn’t provided for in our online conference. On the Friday evening, there will be an intriguing event that all delegates, trade show members and presenters can enjoy over a virtual glass of wine. The next morning, a yoga session will be held before the presentations start.
It also wouldn’t be a proper Conference without the dental trade, and there will be a fully interactive trade show, where delegates can chat to exhibitors and visit their ‘stands’.
The JIDA spoke to three of this year’s speakers to get a flavour of just some of what you can expect to find at the Conference.

Sascha Hein

Sascha is a dental technician and researcher who owns Emulation S.Hein in Freiburg, Germany. His main research interest lies in the radiative transfer through dental hard tissues and dental materials – a field often loosely referred to as “optical properties”. When there isn’t a global pandemic, Sascha lectures widely, focusing on improving shade communication between the dental surgery and the dental lab. He says he’s very appreciative of the opportunity to present to the Irish Dental Association and would like to thank Dr Maurice Fitzgerald for thinking of him.

What will you be speaking about at the IDA Annual Conference?

My presentation bears the insidious title ‘A new scientific approach to unlock the secrets of shade matching without shade guides’.

What do you hope practitioners will take from your presentation?

Above all, that successful shade matching is the consequence of objective communication, that dental practitioners have to work with their dental labs rather than against them, in order to provide the highest standard for our patients and, last but not least, for ourselves.

How has the pandemic affected dentistry?

The pandemic has confronted us with numerous challenges but it also provided us with the opportunity to push on with our research and to come up with new and innovative solutions.

Dr Helen Rodd

Helen is Professor and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at Sheffield University. She has a keen interest in child-centred oral health research, and is part of a vibrant multidisciplinary research group, called CREATE. Through a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches, CREATE’s research has sought to engage children more meaningfully, so that Helen and the other researchers can better understand how different dental conditions, and associated treatments, may impact on them.

I am really pleased that the IDA has given me the opportunity to talk about my favourite clinical and research interest – the management of enamel defects in young patients. I hope to also highlight the psychosocial impacts some children can experience as a result of having teeth that look and feel different to other children’s teeth.

Enamel defects are common and can present in so many different ways. It is sometimes challenging to reach a diagnosis and provide treatment that will address the concerns that the child (and their parents) may have. I hope my presentation will provide practitioners with some practical advice about taking a detailed history and examining this patient group, so they feel more confident in making a diagnosis.
I also hope to update clinicians about some minimal but effective treatment options for children who have anterior enamel opacities that are of cosmetic concern.

On a positive note, wearing masks has become so normal in society, that young children don’t seem at all bothered by all our PPE, which I had thought might be daunting for them. Working in a teaching hospital, I see the huge impact on undergraduate teaching and experience. We are also seeing far fewer paediatric patients in the clinic.

Dr Theresa Gonzales

Theresa is currently Executive Director of the American College of Dentists. In 2013, she retired from the United States Army Dental Corps after a long career in military service as a clinician, educator and commander of troops. She is classically trained as an oral and maxillofacial pathologist and orofacial pain manager.
What will you be speaking about at the IDA Annual Conference?
Physical examination of the head and neck, as well as emerging trends in the diagnosis and management of chronic orofacial pain.

What do you hope practitioners will take from your presentation?

Chronic orofacial pain management – a better appreciation of the fact that chronic orofacial pain (COFP) is relatively common, with approximately 7% of the general population reporting such symptoms, which concomitantly occur with other somatic symptoms that cannot be adequately explained by known organic pathology.
Physical examination of the head and neck – diagnosis is the key to patient care, and no therapeutic skill can compensate for an inability to adequately assess and evaluate a patient. A system, therefore, must be developed and rigorously deployed in both the history taking and clinical examination to minimise the possibility of missing the underlying pathologic condition.

How has the pandemic affected dentistry?

Patients have become more actively engaged in identifying signs and symptoms of disease. They demonstrate better self-clinical surveillance. Patients are more concerned about the preventive aspects of disease and are increasingly committed to prevention and risk mitigation strategies.

Colm Quinn
Journalist with Think Media