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PARIS, France: After the cancellation of the French Dental Association (ADF) congress in 2020, a new edition of this event, which dental professionals look forward to every year, is about to take place. From 23 to 27 November, the dental world will meet at the Palais des Congrès in Paris to learn, discover innovations and, perhaps, challenge themselves. Drs Julien Laupie and Joël Trouillet, dentists and secretary generals of the ADF, were kind enough to share their feelings, explain what motivates them and give details of this new edition of the congress.
At last, another edition of the ADF congress is going to take place. This has been planned and anticipated for so long. How do you feel about it?
Dr Trouillet: Impatient and happy! Impatient because we have been preparing for this congress for months, and we admit it was a difficult achievement after the cancellation of the 2020 event and the concerns that were expressed throughout the year as a result of the health crisis. And we are happy because it is going to happen and happen under the usual conditions.
We are happy to know that we can bring together the entire dental profession—all of its components—with very few constraints. The only hygiene rules necessary to respect will be the provision of a health pass and the wearing of a mask. There is no capacity limit during the five days of the congress, neither for the four floors of the exhibition nor for the conference rooms.
Registration numbers for practitioners wishing to participate in the continuing education programme are very satisfactory, as they are already higher than for the 2019 edition. For the exhibition section, we have received more than 22,000 requests for badges so far, which is also more than in 2019.
We feel that people want to come to the ADF congress to meet up and share a moment with colleagues—a moment of exchange.
We have the impression that people want and need face-to-face training. Do you also feel this way?
Dr Laupie: During the lockdown, we saw an intense development of e-learning training, which is very interesting in many ways. It’s good that we have caught up with this type of teaching, but it’s not suitable for all formats and subjects.
What’s new for the 2021 edition?
Dr Trouillet: We have tried to offer slightly different educational formats. This year’s edition will feature four major debates having four different themes. During these debates, one practitioner will be alone on stage facing an audience who will question him or her on clinical cases. The practitioner will have to respond instantly, drawing on his or her personal library of clinical cases and clinical experience. This kind of interaction cannot be found in e-learning.
We also have Mastermatch sessions, during which two speakers will discuss their practice and their therapeutic solutions on different subjects. It’s a real ping-pong. Each person at his or her own desk makes a presentation, a bit like the plea of two lawyers who are in opposition. This immediacy can only be achieved through face-to-face meetings.
How do you see the future of the dental profession? What will change?
Dr Laupie: The future looks quite positive. After this period of lockdown, the French have once again returned to their dentists without apprehension. The level of demand was high, and it continues to be so. Health seems to have become a priority once again. There has been a growing awareness of the importance not only of health in general but also of oral health.
The catch-up effect of the lockdown is behind us but, for all that, the level of demand remains high.
In terms of training, there has been a change linked to the lockdown. Distance learning has grown considerably and will continue to coexist with face-to-face training. There will be more and more mixed training courses. All this is very much linked to what we have experienced.
Editorial note: A longer version of this interview in French can be accessed here.