As Christopher Lynch, Vinit Gohil and Neel Patel closed their lectures to bring the curtain down on Clinical Innovations 2015, it was time to take a breather and reflect on what had been an enjoyable and engaging few days. The venue was fantastic, the speakers were excellent, the voice-over sounded eerily familiar, the coffee was good, the food was even better, the awards ceremony was a great success and delegates really engaged with the topics and nobody went away without learning something new.
So, if you missed it, here’s what happened at Clinical Innovations 2015.
The very first impression you get as you descend the escalator into King’s Place is just what a fantastic venue it is. It is modern, spacious, unique, well-organised and immaculately laid out. Setting really is everything and, in King’s Place, Clinical Innovations has found a home that really embodies what the conference is all about: innovation, creativity and advancement. These are features that go hand in hand with both the venue and the conference. As the sponsors set up their stands, the staff welcomed the speakers and the delegates began to arrive, the consensus was that the venue provided the perfect setting for what was about to unfold.
Chris Barrow kicked off the conference with a keynote lecture on the next 10 years in dentistry. He had admitted that to be given such a “heck of a brief” was a “huge challenge”. Following extensive research into the topic, Chris was fully prepared to “put his neck on the line” and say what he thought dentistry in the UK would look like in 10 years’ time. By all accounts, Chris managed to kick off Clinical Innovations 2015 with a bang. Delegates were impressed and he was delighted with the feedback. When things got into the nitty-gritty for his session in the afternoon, it was standing room only at the back such was the demand.
After Chris’s lecture, delegates stocked up on coffee and biscuits before attending one of three very different lectures. Komal Suri discussed what makes a successful restorative/aesthetic dentist (after the lecture we were inundated with requests for copies of her lecture), Prof Philip Preshaw spoke about periodontitis and how we should be managing it (one delegate said it was the “best, and most useful” lecture she’d been to in years when we caught up with her afterwards) and Les Jones talked about how to get serious with your marketing (again to a packed room with plenty standing due to the high demand).
After a refreshing lunch (this writer quite liked the salmon fish cakes), it was straight back to it with Amin Aminian and Sheila Scott talking about ageing implant patients and how to recruit patients, respectively, while Komal Suri followed her morning lecture with a hands on session in the afternoon. Amin, particularly, was very impressed with both the venue and the quality of engagement with delegates. He said: “The general buzz about the place is fantastic… the setting is very impressive. It was good to talk in quite a big lecture theatre but also have so much interaction.”
And whether delegates listened to Martyn Amsel on ergonomic dentistry, Nick Claydon on piezo surgery or Chris Barrow on lifecycle marketing, the overall mood was one of engagement and satisfaction with the quality and content of the lectures before Riz Syed closed day 1 by discussing autologous bone grafts.
And, with some of the biggest names in dental innovation in attendance, including A-Dec, Biomet3i, Clark Dental, Kerr, VOCO, NSK and many more, delegates were able to discover some of the most progressive products and technological advances in the modern profession.
After a long and fruitful first day of lectures, the Clinical Innovations Awards 2015, in association with MyDentist, took place that evening in the Battlebridge room at King’s Place. The venue really must be seen to be believed. Situated on the bank of Regent’s Canal, it provided a stunning backdrop to the evening’s festivities (even if the weather wasn’t so kind!)
The awards were presented by Les Jones, Chris Barrow and Mash Seriki. The highlight of their introduction was Les’ quite funny anecdote of a holiday he shared with Chris back in the day which raised more than a few laughs among the audience.
The first series of awards were given to the top performing dental nurses. Presented by MyDentist Nurse Qualification manager, Tracy Rodgers, the deserved winners were Phoebe Kennedy, Keisha Ellis-Dale and Artesia Anderson.
Next came the Clinical Innovation award itself. From a shortlist of 11 innovative and ground breaking products, the top prizes were given as commended, highly commended and then winner. Synea Vision by W&H was commended by the judging panel, due to its innovative lighting design. Directa Dental’s SpotIT was highly commended for offering dentists an easier and more practical way of assessing the contacts of restorations.
The winner of the Clinical Innovations Award 2015 was the Piksters forward and reverse focus tip brush by Erskine Dental. The judges felt that it offered patients the ability to significantly improve their day to day oral hygiene by manipulating the brush head based on their individual needs.
And before the formal part of the Awards finished there was quite a special moment for the Chief Executive of Healthcare Learning, Mash Seriki, and its founder, Noam Tamir, as they were given a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Healthcare Learning and to toast its success in the future.
The Clinical Innovations Awards evening was a perfect addition to CIC 2015 – and allowed delegates to enjoy good food, live music and the company of like-minded and enthusiastic colleagues.
After a much needed night’s sleep, staff and delegates began to arrive in greater numbers on the Saturday where Bob McLelland kicked off proceedings with a “Practical Journey called Smile Design”. It was a great way to kick off Day 2, and any tired minds and bodies were quickly woken up by the content of Bob’s lecture which covered occlusion, implants and how their work can change lives. There was quite a wonderful moment when Bob invited delegates to take a picture of one of the slides as a crucial thing to take away from the lecture and, almost in unison, several hundred camera phones were lifted up. Following his lecture, Bob conducted a rigorous hands-on session that lasted well into the afternoon.
Before lunch (a mildly spicy thai green curry), Tony Knight lectured on high definition dentistry while Jaswinder Gill talked about short term orthodontics. Both are relatively new, but innovative, solutions and were received very well by those in attendance. In the afternoon, Jansie van Rensberg discussed the latest innovations to make dentistry easier and Geoffrey Pullen gave a lecture on getting into implants.
To close this year’s conference, we had Christopher Lynch on managing the phase-down of amalgam and Neel Patel and Vinit Gohil discuss implants in general dental practice. Despite being late in the day, the lectures were just as well attended as the previous ones and the interaction between the crowd and the lecturers was just lively and informative as it had been throughout the conference.
We caught up with a few people as they were leaving the conference and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Dentists and dental professionals from all different backgrounds were able to come to the conference and get something out of it. One Foundation Dentist said: “As a young dentist, it’s great to be able to come to something like this. Everything might not apply to me right now but I know there are things here that will help me in the future. It’s great to see what’s going on, I’d definitely come again.” While another dentist, with 30 years’ experience, told us: “As always, there’s always so much to learn at a conference like this. You may not be interested in every single thing, but there’s always a few eye-openers that really make you think about new things you can bring into practice.”
So, after 2 days, 17 speakers, more than 400 delegates, up to 30 sponsors and one Awards evening the general feeling is that Clinical Innovations 2015 was a great success. As a dental conference, it tries to do things a bit differently and place innovation at the heart of everything it does. It wants delegates to leave the conference having learned valuable, and practical, new methods that they can bring to practice. And, from that standpoint, the conference was undoubtedly a success. From implants to perio, from amalgam to marketing, the 2015 Clinical Innovations Conference covered a comprehensive range of the latest innovations within dentistry, today.
Speaking to people who came from all over the world to be at the conference, from the US to the Middle-East, what was quite striking was, as Amin Aminian put it, the “buzz” of the conference. People were there to expand their knowledge, and to learn where the new innovation was coming from. It may have provided many hours of verifiable CPD but that wasn’t what drove many people to attend. A key driver for attendees was the sheer range of quality lectures on show and the opportunity to network with colleagues.
Everyone will have learned something that they can take back into practice and the organising team from Clinical Innovations would like to thank everybody who came along and made it such a fantastic two-day event. See you all next year!