A Congressful of legends

The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre is just a stone’s throw from the mother of Parliaments.

In June, the two establishments have many similarities. Both attract the good and the great, both host in-depth discussion and debate and – despite some recent shenanigans in the older building – both display the best the country has to offer.

Delegates at the World Aesthetic Congress (WAC) this year once again had the opportunity to observe ‘the place’ and ‘the other place’ in close detail – but more of that later. First, there was some serious CPD to attend to.


Day one opened with one of the legends of cosmetic dentistry as ‘the father of tooth whitening’, Van Haywood, kicked off the full-day Bleaching Symposium.


Tooth whitening is without doubt the first point of contact most of our patients have with dental cosmetics. Its popularity grows year on year as more comfortable and reliable techniques are introduced and perfected. Independent Seminars gave lucky participants a rare chance to learn from one of the masters and go away with knowledge that would not only satisfy their patients but also significantly add to the success of their practices.


This theme was expanded upon by Sia Mirfendereski in his opening afternoon session.

Mixed messages
Tooth whitening in the UK has been fraught with difficulties engendered by an unclear legal position and mixed messages from dental and governmental offices. To clarify these issues – and promote best practice – the British Dental Bleaching Society offers its members help and advice with a clearly defined training pathway. Society president Linda Greenwall closed the session with an overview of the work of the organisation and its liaison with other interested bodies.

You can’t be in two places at the same time. Even modern technology hasn’t come that far yet so reluctantly I left the Bleaching Symposium to listen to another ‘legend’ – the incomparable Buddy Mopper.


Founder of the Cosmodent Company – manufacturer of the Renamel brand of micro-filled composites – Buddy Mopper pioneered techniques of direct bonding and, by extension, minimal intervention. There may be a case for enamel-stripping and porcelain veneers in selected cases but attendees at this afternoon session went away knowing much more about what is possible with minimal intervention and how superb the cosmetic results can be.


To put this new-found knowledge into practice, son Robert Mopper provided hands-on courses throughout the seminar, teaching methods of preparation, application and finishing, allowing delegates to achieve their own excellent results within a very short time.


The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre offers good facilities for meetings like this one, with rooms of appropriate size for all lectures. In addition, there is space for an extensive trade show that seems to get better every year. Dozens of stands displayed products and services from companies crucial to aesthetic dentists.


Once again, you can’t be in two places at the same time. If you could, you may have enjoyed a huge variety of other lectures on the first day from a plethora of leading speakers; interdisciplinary dentistry, practice management, computer science and bespoke provisional restorations to name but a few. In addition, the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry gave their highly sought-after photography workshop, while Rob Walsh examined how to turn a practice into a business in a strictly limited attendance session.


The end of the first day. No need to feel at a loose end after all that stimulation; there was a dinner to go to!


I’m not a politician so when I say ‘I’ll come back to that’, I really mean it. The evening activity included that chance to see Parliament at close quarters. A tour of the Houses of Commons and Lords was followed by a sumptuous dinner and a special event, sponsored by Henry Schein Minerva, which raised an impressive sum of money for charity.

It’s hard to get too much of Chris Orr. Independent Seminars’ delegates have come to expect both scholarly education and practical tips and Chris never disappoints. The morning of the second day, after explaining the science and art of shade-taking he went on to show how clinicians can deal with the nuts and bolts of selection and laboratory communication in a very useful practical session.


The second part of my morning was taken up by Ken Harris discussing the importance of minor gingival and alveolar surgery in cosmetic cases. Still ignored by many, gum height and contour is an essential part of proper treatment planning and can make the difference between an acceptable case and a superb result.


Lunch provided time to discuss the morning’s events with other delegates and visit the trade show again. Networking between colleagues and suppliers is always one of the most important (and enjoyable) features of WAC. Lunch itself reflected the high quality of the refreshments provided throughout the conference – a good choice for everybody and more than enough to eat and drink.


Nearly two days without picking up my loupes. Not allowed. I chose to spend the afternoon at Ian Buckle’s composite symposium. Divided into lecture and practical sessions, delegates gained hands-on experience of the art and techniques of anterior restoration with function and occlusion always firmly in mind.


Occlusion, ceramics, treatment planning, perio – these were some of the other topics I could have selected on day two. To make the choice easier Independent Seminars sends out seminar details well in advance, as well as publishing articles about most of the topics in the months preceding WAC.


In addition, delegates receive suggestions on local accommodation, a map of central London and a list of other delegates before the event; all helping to make for a relaxed and enjoyable conference. For details about the World Aesthetic Congress 2010 and other events from
Independent Seminars please contact www.independentseminars.com.

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