CHICAGO – Thousands of endodontists and other dental professionals explored the future of endodontics at AAE15, the annual meeting of the American Association of Endodontists, in Seattle, Wash., in early May. The meeting included the installation of new leadership for the Boards of the AAE, AAE Foundation and American Board of Endodontics, more than 100 education sessions, the nation's largest endodontic exhibit hall and several special events, including the Association's annual awards ceremony.
Keynote speaker Dr. Michio Kaku, renowned futurist and best-selling author of The Future of the Mind, gripped attendees at the General Session, where he shared his vision of new technologies that will impact society in the future. While Dr. Kaku predicts "robo-doctors" that will diagnose you in your home, he also acknowledged, "[To succeed in the future] you have to supply something which robots cannot – intellectual capital."
Following that theme, outgoing AAE President Robert S. Roda told attendees, "If we're going to shape the future, we need an organization that can study, that can learn and that can act." Dr. Roda recapped the accomplishments of the Association during his term, including the hiring of new Executive Director Peter S. Weber and environmental scanning and quality improvement projects that are helping the AAE prepare for the future of the specialty.
In her first remarks as AAE President, Dr. Terryl A. Propper said she hopes to increase engagement and involvement in the Association by the next generation of endodontists. "I want to inspire a process that will yield effective change for our members and our specialty."
The AAE Foundation closed out its year-long fundraising campaign with $1.221 million raised against a goal of $1.25 million. A leadership pledge of $350,000 from EdgeEndo helped to complete another successful effort. The Foundation has allocated $1.6 million in 2015 to support research and education in endodontics, including awards for each endodontic resident, educator fellowship awards, endowed faculty matching grants and support for a variety of research priorities.
During AAE15, 81 new Diplomates of the American Board of Endodontics were recognized for their achievements. These Board-certified endodontists complete written, case history and oral exams demonstrating their exceptional knowledge, skill and expertise in the specialty of endodontics, commitment to quality patient care and dedication to professional growth.
The AAE also unveiled new resources during the meeting to support endodontists in their careers and to educate patients. The new Career Center is an online job board that allows visitors to post available endodontic positions, easily search and apply for jobs and connect to practices for sale. New Career Resources also are available to help with career planning, including understanding emerging practice models, negotiating employment contracts, job search tips and starting a practice. Currently, more than 130 positions are posted.
The AAE also debuted the fourth production in its series of 3-D animated patient education videos. The new video on endodontic surgery illustrates the most common form of surgery, apicoectomy, in an easy-to-understand animated video. It highlights the advanced training and equipment used by endodontists to perform endodontic surgery to save the natural dentition. All of the AAE's videos are available on its YouTube channel for viewing or embedding into practice websites.