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Interview: “Endodontic treatment is an invaluable therapeutic technique”

In the interview with Dental Tribune Online, Dr Kim disclosed that he is very excited about IFEA 2018 and is hoping that the event “will continue to grow”. (Photograph: Dr Andy Euiseong Kim)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Thu. 27. September 2018


From 4 to 7 October, the world of endodontics will be meeting in the South Korean capital of Seoul for the 11th International Federation of Endodontic Associations (IFEA) World Endodontic Congress (WEC). In light of the event, which has attracted dental professionals from all around the world for many years, Dental Tribune Online spoke with IFEA WEC 2018 Chairperson Dr Andy Euiseong Kim.

Dr Kim, how would you describe your experience as chairperson of the IFEA WEC 2018 Seoul local organising committee?
First of all, it is my great honour and privilege to act as chairperson of the local organising committee. I’ve learnt so much while preparing for this gathering. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to everyone for the support they’ve shown us so constantly. I feel so blessed, and it could not have been done without that cooperation and support.

Second, I have been pleased to see Korean dentists demonstrating their excellent capability. They perform excellent endodontic treatment, even in poor environments, and all the techniques of endodontic treatment are controlled under the government-led health insurance system. I can confirm that these researchers are conducting world-class research.

Finally, it has been a valuable experience to feel the unity of the members of the Korean Academy of Endodontics.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Endodontics: The utmost values in dentistry”. Can you explain what is behind this and how you identify with it?
Endodontic treatment is an invaluable therapeutic technique that can keep natural teeth healthy. The reach of its use depends on the country, and I have felt sorry that endodontic treatment has been more neglected than other fields, given its importance. We have various difficulties, especially with the limited choices for dentists, because of the government’s medical insurance system.

With this point of view, we came to the idea of going back to the basics and asked ourselves a fundamental question: what is most important for national oral health? A fancy building may be nice to look at, but it will not last long if the groundwork is not done properly. Likewise, our efforts to keep our natural teeth healthy for the long term should never be under-estimated.

Why do you think meetings such as IFEA’s WEC are important for the endo community?
This is an absolutely necessary meeting. The American Association of Endodontists meeting, the European Society of Endodontology meeting and the WEC of IFEA are the standard meetings of international endodontic societies, but while the meetings arranged by the first two associations are locally constrained, the IFEA gathering is the only academic congress that covers international endodontic treatment. Membership of IFEA continues to increase, and 36 countries have enrolled in IFEA as member countries.

It is natural that there’s level of difference depending on the country, and I believe everyone will level up through this kind of meeting. By doing so, we can contribute to the positive development of human beings, which is IFEA’s primary value. Also, the meeting promotes fellowship among endodontists and exchange of experiences and ideas. We will maximise synergy in our field by sharing information with one another.

What are your expectations/hopes for the meeting, and what are you most looking forward to personally?
I am so excited about the meeting. The largest number of participants of all of past IFEA WECs will come to Korea from 70 countries all over the world. Personally, I am thrilled to meet endodontists from all over the world. I know that it will be a wonderful experience to meet participants from far away and from closer to home. Furthermore, I hope that IFEA will continue to grow into a global organisation representing the whole world.