Not so frequently asked questions with Steve Jones

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Not so frequently asked questions with Steve Jones

Beyond his work in the dental industry, Jones enjoys his time off in the vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina. (Photograph: Stephen Jones)
Monique Mehler

By Monique Mehler

Fri. 15. June 2018

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BERLIN, Germany: Stephen Jones has been part of the ROOTS SUMMIT right from the beginning and continues to play an important role at this year’s event as co-chairman. In his 30-year career, he has held various sales and marketing roles in the dental field. The ROOTS SUMMIT is the leading global discussion forum for endodontics. This year, the biannual event will be held from 28 June to 1 July in Berlin. It all started with a mailing list of endodontic enthusiasts in the 1990s. Since then, the ROOTS SUMMIT has increased its membership from approximately 1,000 to the current level of more than 26,000 participants. Dental Tribune Online sat down with Jones for a talk about the early years of ROOTS, the highlights of this year’s event and the following ROOTS SUMMIT in 2020.

When you first started ROOTS, did you ever think that it would grow into such a big community with thousands of participants?
In fairness, Dr Freddy Belliard and I did not start ROOTS, but we were active participants from the start and were quite happy to take the reins. The membership numbers went up and down a bit, with a maximum of several thousand members. Those numbers were dropping drastically, not for any other reason than the format. There were just too many e-mails. Freddy insisted that the only way to grow the community was to move to Facebook. Given the extremely low number of participants at that time, there was very little to lose. I did not have a clue about the impact this would have: within about four months, we had more than a 1,000 per cent increase in membership, and we now have grown to well over 26,000 members. I did not imagine that we could have that kind of growth, but I am very happy that I listened to Freddy, as he did seem to know this would happen.

What, in your opinion, makes ROOTS SUMMIT so special for the endo community?
There are many little things that happen at ROOTS that make it special. From the beginning, ROOTS was always about sharing and learning. I love seeing the variety of countries that we have active members in. People can share cases, clinical issues, diagnosis, treatment plans, etc. with their peers and often receive responses from around the world from many of the leading academics and clinicians in all of endodontics. Another thing that has made ROOTS special is its lack of territorial politics and commercial influence. Everyone at ROOTS is an equal, we keep a very high standard of decorum, and the ultimate goal is always the best treatment possible for everyone’s patient, something that I have respected about endodontists my entire career. In reality, it is being part of the endo community that makes ROOTS special.

Personally, what are you looking forward to the most at this year’s ROOTS SUMMIT?
That is an incredibly difficult question to give just one answer to. The scientific programme this year is going to be great. Having Dr David Jaramillo as the scientific director, with his combination of clinical skills and scientific knowledge, we were able to put together this group of speakers who will translate current science into clinical practice at the absolute highest level. It is a great thing to see dentists from multiple countries and practice conditions return to their offices with knowledge they can immediately apply to improve clinical treatments and outcomes for their patients. I am looking forward to learning a lot about endo at the last weekend in June.

Something, I also always look forward to at a ROOTS SUMMIT is the interaction of all of the participants during the breaks, lunches, and social events we have organised. We had participants from 42 countries at last count; these interested and engaged clinicians meeting face to face with the people they communicate with regularly on the forum is always great fun to see and be part of. This year, we also have a tremendous social programme and I look forward to the reception on the 29th at the European School of Management and Technology, setting a great tone for the viewing of a FIFA World Cup game at the Alte Turnhalle on the 30th. That event will be memorable!

Can you share any plans for the next edition of the ROOTS SUMMIT (in 2020) yet?
We hope to be able to announce that during the event in Berlin, but it will certainly be in Europe. We are inviting dental professionals to join us from 28 June to 1 July to find out.

Berlin Roots Teeth

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