Jan/Feb 2006
Volume 2, Issue 1

From the Editor

Gerard Kugel, DMD, MS, PhD

Dear Readers:

Since the introduction of our premier issue, all of us at Inside Dentistry have remained faithful to the belief that communication and collaboration advance the oral healthcare profession.

When we discussed the state of affairs at dental schools in October, we commented that research and development result from a “partnership” between academia and industry. As we explored the associations between oral and systemic diseases in December, we encouraged informative dialogues among professionals to broaden our knowledge base and better serve our patients. Our current issue continues this commitment to fostering interaction among all participants in oral healthcare.

Get the most out of dental conferences: We all know that dental journals and dentistry-oriented Web sites offer important information and excellent opportunities to earn continuing education (CE). But perhaps what is not as well known is that there are also valuable opportunities for multisensory learning and assimilation to be gained by attending dental meetings, conferences, and seminars.

The active exchange of information about our cases, the relevant local issues, and even the global trends and solutions can give us great insights and perspectives on improving our practice and our professional careers.

Today, we are all bombarded with oral healthcare information. After hours of reading, we are still often left with the fundamental question: If I try this new material, does it make sense for my practice?

This is why I encourage you to read this month’s feature about the importance and relevance of attending dental society meetings. These organized events can provide you with opportunities for personal interaction with colleagues, intellectual growth, and hands-on skills development. They can offer a broad educational experience, and sometimes even a means to sample products and equipment you might want to try.

A word to the wise: Given the vast array of courses and lectures from which to choose, I encourage you to scrutinize the session roster. As we note in our feature story, manufacturers and exhibitors provide tremendous support to dental meetings—for which we are grateful. If it were not for sponsors, attendees would be paying a much higher registration price. In fact, some seminars would not be offered at all. One way that the sponsors help support conferences is by funding the appearance of some speakers—either directly or indirectly. At times, this can potentially influence the seminar’s content and the opinions presented. Such potential bias may or may not be fully disclosed beforehand. If you are looking to get the most out of CE conferences, the next time you hear a lecture, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the speaker objective?
  • Does the speaker have the credentials to speak on the topic?
  • Is the information presented evidence-based?
  • Who sponsored the lecture?

If the questions are answered to your satisfaction, you are likely attending a high-quality and objective CE session. If they are not, the next time around you might want to consider the programs available at dental schools across the country to meet your CE needs. Dental school seminars tend to be more evidence-based.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Inside Dentistry and continue to share your thoughts, opinions, and reactions to our clinical content and editorial coverage. Please write to us at letters@insidedentistry.net. Your active interest is our motivation to continue delivering nothing less than excellence in dental publications. Thank you for reading.

With warm regards,

Gerard Kugel, DMD, MS, PhD
Associate Dean for Research
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
gkugel@aegiscomm.com
Boston, Massachusetts

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