Following its successful première in autumn 2013, VOCO recently hosted another event in its "VOCO International Fellowship Symposium" (VIFS) series. From June 8-13, more than 50 dentists and dental technicians from almost 20 different countries gathered in Cuxhaven, Germany, to discuss the latest trends and innovative treatment methods in dentistry with the "dentalists".
A varied programme of talks and presentations offered the perfect basis for this intellectual exchange. In addition, booths constructed in the foyer of the VOCO main building offered the opportunity to find out more about the company's latest product innovations and try them out.
Klaus Peter Hoffmann, Head of the Knowledge Communication Department, which organises the VIFS, was delighted by how smoothly the event went and the results the second VIFS delivered.
"Once again, this event has allowed VOCO to nurture and build on its excellent relationships with dental professionals both within Germany and abroad," he said. "In doing this, we are also continuing to promote constructive dialogue between the manufacturing side and the dental practice."
Varied programme of talks and presentations
The talks and presentations once again addressed a wide range of topics, covering various elements of prophylactic, restorative and prosthetic dentistry. The speakers from the fellows circle concentrated on modern, minimally invasive dental approaches as well as different aspects of restorative treatment including the bulk-fill technique and the production of composite inlays.
The focus was also on adhesive techniques and post-endodontic treatment with glass-fibre-reinforced composite root posts and adhesive core build-up. Further topics included the use of light-curing glass fibre strands, possibilities for aesthetic anterior tooth restoration including treatment with veneers and the treatment of cervical lesions.
In addition, the use of glass ionomer cements in paediatric dentistry, the treatment management of dental trauma, work with die silicone and luting systems for indirect restorations and production of highly aesthetic temporary restorations were also on the agenda. Attention was also given to the professional application of bleaching preparations and the assessment of a transparent fissure sealant after one year in situ.
These and other topics were presented and discussed with the aid of selected clinical case reports, which also documented the successful use of both the old favourites and the latest VOCO product innovations.
Synergy effect for organisers and guests
Guest presentations were accompanied by contributions from VOCO's team from various departments. They explained the company's in-house and collaborative research and development work including details on the scientific and clinical background to developing dental materials. The presentations covered both tried-and-tested products from the extensive VOCO dental portfolio and the innovations recently presented at the IDS, with particular importance being attached to the world's first universal nanohybrid ORMOCER® restorative material, Admira Fusion. Dr Reinhard Maletz, Head of the Research and Development Department, gave the fellows an insight into work on this first purely-ceramic-based restorative material and highlighted its special properties and advantages.
The symposium's agenda also included round table discussions on a number of indications and product groups. This gave the VOCO developers and market strategists the opportunity to speak with the fellows about their experiences with the VOCO products and receive comprehensive feedback. It was also a great chance to hear numerous suggestions such as expanding the shade range for certain restorative materials, or the choice of application methods available.
The symposium's programme was rounded off by a tour of the company's facilities and a discussion of the basis for further cooperation between VOCO and the fellows and the joint execution of further training events. A beach party with a barbecue in the evening plus a boat trip to Hamburg and a gala dinner in the IndoChine Asian gourmet restaurant rounded off the VIFS 2015 supporting programme in style.
"Just like last year, we were able to welcome a large number of outstanding participants to the second VIFS and take a closer look at a range of dental topics from both the manufacturers' and dentists' perspective together with our fellows," said Event Manager Dr Matthias Mehring from VOCO's Knowledge Communication Department.
"This is the only way of ensuring the successful cooperation with the fellows in the future and the execution of further training events which are both practice-relevant and appealing in the individual countries. At the same time, the pointers and recommendations from our fellows are an essential source of input for our research and development work. The event was once again advantageous for both sides and thus imparts a sustainable synergy effect. On top of that, with an event of this type, size and quality, VOCO is making an unmistakeable mark on the dental market."
Positive feedback all-round from the participants
The VOCO fellows were just as pleased with the event as its organisers. Dr Clarence Tam from Auckland, New Zealand said "It was brilliant to meet so many colleagues from all over the world - an optimal platform and a very pleasant atmosphere. The scientific background information was perfectly complemented with the presentation of clinical cases from day-to-day work in the practice. On top of that we had the opportunity to find out in more detail about individual products and their advantages in different fields of application. And I'll be sure to foster and expand on the new contacts I've made here."
Dr Guido Sterzenbach from Berlin, Germany, said "The symposium was very well organised and both the scope and the quality of the presentations were very impressive. It was very interesting to see how colleagues proceed with different indications. In addition, it is also a great opportunity to make useful contacts for professional exchange. After I attended the first symposium, these were a great help to me, for example when working on a study into bulk-fill materials".
"The range of talks and presentations was amazingly large and the quality was even better than at the first symposium," said Dr Ludwig Hermeler from Rheine, Germany. "There were helpful tips for day-to-day work in the practice and I'm sure we will be able to expand on existing contacts and the new ones we have made here. The large number of participants showed once again that VOCO cooperates intensively with dentists from all over the world and is really seen as a successful global player in the dental industry."
Prof. Dr Katrin Bekes from Vienna, Austria said "The symposium was wonderfully organised and offered a healthy balance of colleagues from practices, colleagues from universities and colleagues representing both sides. This allowed multifaceted professional exchange. The balanced focus was also reflected in the programme of talks, which included something for every participant, whichever faction they belonged to".
Dr James Robson from Billingham, England said "The presentations gave an excellent insight into diverse indications and cases. As a result, the discussions between the participants were also full of suggestions for work in the practice. The symposium offered an excellent platform for dialogue with colleagues from all over the world and thus also contributes to building bridges across different professional fields and national borders."
"This symposium gave me an interesting and at the same time pleasant opportunity to get to know VOCO better," said Dr Ben White from Southampton, England. "The symposium was characterised by a good balance of presentations from clinical practice and academia. This was without a doubt a good refresher for some practitioners. I was particularly impressed by the presentations and extraordinarily well-photographed cases from our Brazilian colleagues. They display a high standard in the field of aesthetic dentistry. Other colleagues also offered helpful suggestions for certain techniques in different fields of application."
Dr Nuria Prieto Jimenez from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, said "The symposium was very well organised and I enjoyed all of the talks, even though some of them were not directly related to my area of work. The presentations offered a good insight into the importance of dentistry, focuses of work and treatment practice in the different countries. For example, aesthetic dentistry plays a particularly important role in Brazil. As my work is also focused in this area, the corresponding presentations and suggestions were of course particularly interesting to me. And I am able to say that I have also made new friends here."
Dr Gyula Marada from Pécs, Hungary said "The experiences gathered here are very helpful and I have got to know different approaches and suggestions with regard to a wide range of treatment areas. Of course, there was always a focus on the application of VOCO products for the most varied of indications. But that in particular was very interesting, as we sometimes use these products in completely different ways. In this respect, there were a whole host of tips and the possibility of sharing knowledge even more intensively and with more people in the future thanks to the new contacts made."
"Participation in the symposium was a very useful experience for me," said Dr Patrycja Ujima from Częstochowa, Poland. "I think that all the participants were able to take something away from the individual presentations and learn something for their own day-to-day work in the practice."
Dr Bogdan Bratu from Timișoara, Romania said "We were shown a range of really interesting case reports, which were reason enough for me to rate the event as 'excellent'. In addition, it was also the perfect platform for sharing experiences and tips with professional colleagues and making new contacts from all over the world. We have made a lot of new friends and already set up our own VOCO WhatsApp group."
"The event was perfectly organised and I saw and learned a great deal," said Dr Jozef Minčík, Košice, Slovakia. "I found the presentation on Admira Fusion in particular very interesting and motivating. I worked with this material myself very recently and I think it's probably the best restorative material that I have ever worked with."
Dr Paul Nahas, Tripoli, Lebanon, said "Both the talks and the exchange with speakers were very valuable, as well as the round table discussions with the VOCO scientific team. The symposium has created a global network with enormous potential for the development of academic considerations. It has inspired me to undertake new clinical studies and employ new approaches in my day-to-day work in the practice."
"I was particularly impressed with both the presentations and the discussions which followed them," said Prof. Dr Yu-Chih Chiang from Taipei, Taiwan. "I especially liked the demonstrative presentation given by Dr Tam from New Zealand, which displayed excellently photographed case reports on aesthetic treatment in the anterior and posterior regions. The presentation with the video by Dr Alves Feitosa from Brazil was also very interesting and entertaining, as he showed how to produce and adapt temporary veneers on himself."
Dr William Paveletz from Malvern, USA said "This was the second time I attended this series of events and I found it very enlightening to be able to get to know both the latest VOCO products and the many new fellows from different countries. The presentations were of a very high quality and very informative. The symposium covered both academic and clinical aspects of day-to-day work in the practice in equal measure. I will also be keeping in contact with the other fellows in order to be able to share our knowledge and experience with regard to clinical cases and practice questions."
Dr Marcelo Balsamo from São Paulo, Brazil, said "The symposium offered an ideal mix of academia and practice. The cases presented from dental practice and discussions with colleagues from all over the world helped to expand horizons, and not only in the professional sense. In addition, it offered us the opportunity to recommend ourselves as speakers for further training events organised by VOCO and its partners in a range of different countries."