The 19th BACD Annual Conference, titled “New Horizons”, once again brought together hundreds of members and non-members alike to learn and network with likeminded professionals. The three-day event offered hands-on training, live demonstrations and a diverse lecture programme covering both clinical and non-clinical topics.
The first day of the Conference was dedicated to hands-on workshops and masterclasses, which offered delegates an opportunity to develop practical capabilities in an array of areas. Sessions covered injectable moulding techniques, composite veneers and soft/hard tissue management concepts, as well as brand building and improving the treatment planning process with enhanced patient communication. Delegates had the chance to engage with both speakers and peers within intimate groups, learning intricate skills and taking away a wealth of guidance and advice that will help them optimise their patient care and business management for the future.
Upon attending a workshop on composite veneers by Richard Coates and sponsored by DMG, delegate H. Craig commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed Richard’s composite veneer workshop. It was advertised as a Masterclass and it truly was. I have learned so much about layering composite to emulate nature – I know for certain that I can take these skills back to practice next week and deliver a first-class service for my patients. A big thank you to Richard and the DMG team!”
During the opening ceremony, now the Immediate Past President, Dr Simon Chard, described the Conference as a place to “engage, communicate and collaborate” with colleagues and industry partners. He highlighted the many benefits available to members and demonstrated some of the educational events that will be held throughout 2024.
Dr Chris Orr and Dr Elaine Halley also paid a heart-felt tribute to Dr Uchenna Okoye, a long-time member of the BACD who sadly and very suddenly passed away recently. She was lovingly described as someone who was “passionate about making a difference” and “the best president the BACD never had” given how much she did for the Academy and the profession as a whole. In memory of Dr Okoye and her belief in living life to the fullest, the audience were treated to a lively “The Greatest Showman” performance, before settling into the day’s lecture.
Headline speaker Dr Lincoln Harris took to the stage at this point to take delegates on a journey through the “dance” that is the new patient consultation. Exploring how to engage with a patient who doesn’t know or understand that they need treatment, he was clear that not all patients are prepared to accept a treatment plan. The first of several key points of his session was to “never give a treatment plan to a patient that is not ready”. He went on throughout the day to discuss the importance of the professional recommendation when it comes to treatment options, the necessity to have belief in yourself as the clinician and the power of saying no to a patient. Dr Harris also talked about giving patients what they want but with no long-term regrets – something that is at the heart of the BACD’s dedication to ethical cosmetic dentistry.
Reflecting on their experience of the Conference overall, Y. Funmi Sijuwade said: “I enjoyed both the workshops I attended – it was good to cover non-clinical topics with Ken Hughes and I learnt new things to take into practice from the composite veneer session. I thought Lincoln Harris was good, covering general principles of how to build a practice. I have been a full member of the BACD for 15+ years and the Annual Conference is the biggest benefit for me.”
The final day of the Conference brought more exceptional speakers, including Dr Anthony Mak discussing digital dentistry in anterior aesthetic restorations. Though a clear advocate for digital solutions in the modern profession, he acknowledged the need to build up digital capabilities in the practice over time. He discussed the steps of the workflow and benefits of restoratively driven treatment, as well as how technologies and digital mock ups can aid the process. Dr Mak showed some of his own cases to demonstrate the benefits of digital dentistry and show it in real-life situations.
Delegate Tom Bereznicki said of the session: “This lecture was excellent. The speaker really showed how to put the pieces of the jigsaw together. He gave young professionals a good example of excellence and something to aim for.”
Throughout the Conference, delegates were able to interact with the trade exhibition, participating in the trade lottery to be entered into a draw to win over £18,000 worth of prizes that were kindly donated by the companies in attendance. Plus, the Gala Dinner lived up to its name, providing an exceptional evening of entertainment, food, dancing and the odd drink or two!
Delegate Anna McHenry said about the event overall: “I have found the whole Conference so useful. Everything has been superbly organised and everyone has been so helpful. There was a great variety of workshops and talks to choose from and I have been inspired by the excellent standard of dentistry being shown.”
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