October 2012
Volume 33, Issue 9

Passion for Dentistry Front and Center in Hong Kong

Patrick Tessier, BSME, MBA

At the 2012 World Dental Forum, presented in Hong Kong this past summer, more than 500 clinicians and educators from around the globe gathered together for the purpose of advancing dentistry’s body of knowledge. Featured speakers traveled from the United States, Canada, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Britain, Australia, China, and Hong Kong. From the many speakers and delegation leaders, and among the more than 570 attendees, one message carried through loud and clear: passion.

This year’s event was organized by the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong along with Modern Dental Laboratory USA (Bellevue, Washington). The forum celebrated the pearl jubilee of UHK’s Faculty of Dentistry in this, the university’s centennial year. The theme of passion was demonstrated throughout the event—not just in the elaborate opening ceremonies, where delegates were treated to a traditional Chinese dragon dance. But passion for the advancement of dentistry was evident in the speakers and among the attendees—clearly, this was not your average dental gathering.

Passionate About Education

Some 30 years ago, the British government established the first dental school in the Hong Kong region. It has grown to be one of the finest institutions of its kind in the whole of Asia and one of the top dental schools in the world. From its founding to today, the faculty and staff of the school have been passionate about educating clinicians and advancing the oral health and well-being of the people of Hong Kong and beyond. The quality of the speakers for the WDF reflected that passion. Here are some of the highlights:

• Dr. Paul Miara, noted French author, lecturer, and specialist in esthetic dentistry, presented a stirring lecture on the possibilities and limits of modern esthetic treatments.

• Professor Jack Ferracane, Chairman of Restorative Dentistry at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, shared the latest advances concerning the properties of direct composite.

• Professor Bart van Meerbeek, from the Catholic University of Leuven, came from Belgium to discuss the nuances of today’s adhesives.

• Dr. John O. Burgess, Assistant Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Alabama, presented new research on the clinical applications of composite resins for the posterior.

• Dr. Daniel Edelhoff, Associate Professor from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, offered a fascinating lecture on new approaches to complex cases utilizing CAD/CAM.

• Dr. Joerd van der Meer, from the Eastman Dental Institute at the University College of London, discussed digital workflows in dentistry and gave attendees a glimpse of the future.

• Dr. Jack Gerschman, from the Monash Medical School in Melbourne, Australia, presented a new-generation oral appliance for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) therapy.

These were some of the 14 outstanding speakers that presented their findings at the forum. While the quality of the lectures was world-class, the striking element that was apparent throughout the event was the exchange of ideas shared informally by many of the international participants. The forum provided an atmosphere to facilitate dialogue and an opportunity to further friendships and international alliances. It was common to see participants from North America, Europe, and Asia discussing the last presentation during the breaks at the conference.

Passionate About Collaboration

The World Dental Forum is reflective of the trend toward international collaboration and bears out the realization that the passion of dentistry has no borders. As the world bes smaller—through technology and communication advancements—it is becoming easier than ever to share ideas and procedures to advance oral health. A new protocol developed in Australia can easily and expeditiously be shared with clinicians in the United States. An oral appliance designed in Chicago can now be prescribed in Sweden or Holland. New CAD/CAM technology from Copenhagen can be utilized in Hong Kong.

The great joy of dentistry is the immediate feedback that comes when applying our education and talents to improve the life of a single patient. Today, it is possible to share knowledge around the world and make a difference that transcends borders. It is a great time to be alive and to be serving in dentistry.

As Anne Frank said: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

About the Author

Patrick Tessier, BSME, MBA
President and CEO
Modern Dental Laboratory USA
Bellevue, Washington

Related content: The next World Dental Forum will take place in 2014 in Paris, France. For more information, please visit: www.moderndentalUSA.com/WDF

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