ADDE celebrates 60 years with “one dental voice”

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ADDE celebrates 60 years with “one dental voice”

The Association of Dental Dealers in Europe celebrated its 60th anniversary at its annual general assembly on 13 and 14 June in Wiesbaden. (Image: ADDE)

Fri. 14. June 2024


WIESBADEN, Germany: Established in 1964, the Association of Dental Distributors in Europe (ADDE) has supported its members through drastic shifts in the commercial, legislative and technological operating environments, emerging as a pivotal entity that fosters cooperation, innovation and excellence in the European dental industry. As the ADDE celebrated its 60th anniversary on 13 and 14 June in Wiesbaden, the association and its members reflected on six decades of significant contributions to the dental industry and discussed strategies for the future.

ADDE is a European-wide umbrella organisation of national federations in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. These national federations collectively represent over 1,000 dental distributors and approximately 50,000 employees—a far cry from ADDE’s humble beginnings.

ADDE was founded by a small group of national dental federations in Frankfurt in the then West Germany, and the association chose today’s nearby state capital of Wiesbaden for its 60th anniversary meeting and celebration. Board members met at the Dorint Pallas hotel in the city on 13 June, and the One Dental Voice meeting officially began the following morning, involving gatherings of delegates and guests and presentations concerning the most significant factors affecting dental distributors in Europe.

Attendees were welcomed by ADDE President Dr Pavel Smažík, ADDE Secretary General and former president Dominique Deschietere, and Jochen G. Linneweh, president of the German Dental Trade Association. Linneweh commented that digitisation has reshaped the dental business in Europe, more so than any other single factor in the last 60 years. “The transformation has been huge,” he said, adding that the businesses of many European dental distributors had also undergone digital transformation. Prof. Christoph Benz, president of the German Federal Dental Association, added that EU regulations for medical devices remained a challenge. Prof. Benz said that small- and medium-sized dental manufacturers were at times struggling to keep their products on the market, as smaller companies face a higher comparable burden than larger dental firms. “The dental trade and the dental profession share a common interest in providing high-quality dental care within Europe. Little can be achieved without cooperation. This cohesion exists; let us build on it,” he said.

Maaike Visser, a competition law specialist with Belgium law firm FAROS, spoke to attendees about the latest developments in the legal sphere, and Dr Freddie Sloth-Lisbjerg, president of the Council of European Dentists, asked them to imagine the European dental landscape of the future. His presentation addressed the speed of change in our increasingly digital society and argued that new technologies and ways of working present the industry with challenges and risks but also with new opportunities. Further highlights of the meeting included a presentation on cloud-based storage solutions for digital dentistry by Robert Lorenz, senior business development manager at Dentsply Sirona, and a festive dinner held in a historic country house on the outskirts of the city.

An ongoing legacy of collaboration

What is next for ADDE? The dental business in Europe has changed considerably since 1964, and ADDE continues to adapt. With each passing year, the association has expanded its reach, engaging with an ever-growing network of stakeholders. As it looks to the future, ADDE remains dedicated to its core principles of unity, integrity and service. Dr Smazik commented: “With the collective efforts of its members and partners, ADDE is poised to navigate the dynamic landscape of the dental industry, embracing change and innovation and shaping the future of oral healthcare in Europe and beyond.”

Dr Smazik added: “Having one dental voice is important, because we have to be connected.”

The 61st meeting of the ADDE is set to take place in Croatia in May 2025. See the association's website for updates.

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