Digital Dentistry and Dental Technology 2018 has been hailed as a monumental success. Staged in September at the Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport, the inaugural event attracted close to 300 delegates and delivered 81 education sessions presented by 31 speakers across six concurrent streams.
"So much energy, so much time, so much hard work went into pulling this event together in under six months and it was such a relief that it went off exactly as planned," said Dentevents' Joseph Allbeury, the organiser of the event.
"From the moment it kicked off on Friday, September 21 until we closed on Saturday afternoon, the place was abuzz. We had close to 350 people onsite with delegates, speakers and the trade, so the venue was packed. We filled all the ballrooms and breakout rooms with session after session on topics covering the entire digital dentistry space.
"And delegates absolutely loved the format. We had dentists, specialists, prosthetists and technicians participating and it was access all areas for everyone. At any point, you could choose from six different session choices and the only restriction over which session you could attend was based on available seats.
"You could build your own program on the fly to fulfil your personal needs and if you didn't like what you were hearing, you could simply move on to a different session... or sit in the coffee shop we created or browse the exhibition space."
Mr Allbeury said he was amazed at the heartfelt thanks he received throughout from delegates testifying to the need for this event and the success of the format.
"The genesis of digital dentistry was in the dental laboratory and labs continue to be absolutely instrumental in helping dentists transition into this new world. Too many events try and treat clinic and lab separately, so many, many delegates expressed their gratitude that the event brought both groups together under one roof."
Mr Allbeury said that the program was carefully crafted to ensure it was a complete representation of how digital technology is being used in dentistry today, both from a treatment and a product perspective.
"We wanted this event to be very right now," Mr Allbeury said. "We wanted this event to represent the current state of play and show all the ways in which digital technology is being used in dentistry. We wanted to showcase treatment protocols, laboratory protocols and we wanted to showcase laboratories and solutions.
"Less than a month out, we added a sixth stream because the program needed that content in order to present the whole story.
"We were so fortunate to have had so many amazing speakers to deliver these sessions and they are the real heroes of this event. The overall concept was to have it presented by leading clinicians and technicians who work in the digital space every day and I believe we achieved that and then some. Delegates had unprecedented access to speakers and their knowledge and loved it.
"We have so much talent in Australia and New Zealand and it was a privilege to put that wealth of knowledge and experience on show and have this received in such a profound way. It was impossible for me, as the organiser, to see every one of the 81 sessions in person, but the ultimate judges on the quality and relevance of each was the number of delegates in attendance. Every session we offered was 60-110% full; even some of the sessions that were repeated on day 2 were still getting great numbers.
"Apart from local talent, we were fortunate to have Lee Culp, one of the true fathers of digital dentistry, come across from North Carolina to present courtesy of Ivoclar Vivadent. Because of the format of the event, Lee presented for almost 8 hours (out of a possible 12) on a variety of subjects, so no one missed the opportunity to hear one or all of his presentations. At one point, we had a hundred people packed into a room for 80 - literally bulging out the door - to hear his session on digital dentures on Saturday morning and it was amazing to see that level of interest. I'm sure he was exhausted and slept the whole way home!"
Digital Dentistry and Dental Technology 2018 was sponsored principally by Dentsply Sirona, with Dental Axess, Ivoclar Vivadent, Pacific Dental Specialties and Fabdent as edu cational sponsors. Leading digital dental solutions providers and digital dental laboratories all supported the event as exhibitors in the trade exhibition.
"Digital dentistry is essentially driven by technology, so we were delighted to be supported by the leading solutions providers in this area," Mr Allbeury said. "We worked closely with Dentsply Sirona and all our educational sponsors to understand the questions clinicians and technicians are asking to allow us to craft a programme that was topical and highly relevant.
"The result of this process was that for clinicians and technicians already in the digital dentistry space or for those looking to enter it, Digital Dentistry and Dental Technology 2018 both allowed you to experience the lastest solutions first hand and learn how they are being put to use on a daily basis every day by leaders in their fields.
"The validation of this process was that all of the 81 sessions were well-attended for the full course of the event, with quite a few packed to overflowing. As the organiser, this confirms that the programme met the needs of the audience perfectly."
Mr Allbeury said the success of the event was a team effort from everyone involved.
"To every speaker, to every delegate, to every sponsor, trade exhibitor and to everyone who helped in any way, I thank you so very, very much for making Digital Dentistry and Dental Technology 2018 the overwhelming success that it was. It was better than anyone expected and better than I could have ever hoped for.
"With IDS in Germany only a few months away in March 2019, where many new products will be launched, we're already planning Digital Dentistry and Dental Technology 2019. I invite everyone in dentistry to join us again in September 2019."
Keep visiting www.dentaltechnology.com.au for details about Digital Dentistry and Dental Technology 2019.