Lockdown learning

01 July 2020
Volume 38 · Issue 7

Louis Mackenzie looks back at the success of Dental Update’s recent webinar programmes.

Webinars have been part of the dental postgraduate training landscape for over a decade but have become the predominant medium for continuing professional development during the nationwide dental lockdown.

At the centre of this ‘webinar revolution’ have been two major free online lecture programmes organised by Denplan in partnership with Dental Update. The first April/May programme (also in partnership with Oral B) has now become the most popular lecture series in the history of UK dentistry with an extraordinary 90,000 registrations for lectures on a wide range of clinical subjects from well known British and European lecturers. All these lectures remain available for on-demand viewing at https://webinars.dental-update.co.uk/#/

With the first programme nearing completion, public, professional and political pressures to re-start UK dentistry inspired a second Denplan/Dental Update collaboration to design and deliver a three full-day online conference, with lecture subjects entirely devoted to the safe, efficient, effective return to patient care in general practice. At the time of writing this unique programme has already attracted over 55,000 registrations and is also available for on demand viewing at https://conference.dental-update.co.uk/#/

The 17 lectures can be divided into five subject areas:

1. Coronavirus, infection prevention and control

Chet Trivedy, FGDP taskforce medical advisor, presented the evidence base for managing Covid-19 in general dental practice and with two lectures, each attracting over 4000 registrations, Jo Russell provided a comprehensive practical update on Covid-19 infection prevention and control. The bewildering new (to dentistry) science of FFP respirations was brilliantly explained by 3M’s scientific affairs manager John Rafelt and lockdown legend Dominic O’Hooley tackled the hugely controversial subject of aerosol-generating procedures. You know all is not well in the world of dentistry when two rubber dam lectures attracted thousands of viewers, but former BES president Mike Waplington and myself (speaking on behalf of Optident) presented overviews of equipment and clinical techniques for this key barrier method for Covid-era endodontic and restorative procedures.

2. Operative and restorative dentistry

Across the globe, dental teams are having to quickly adapt to new ways of working in clinical practice. In his second lecture, Mike Waplington provided an essential guide to the assessment, diagnosis and management of endodontic problems. Professor Claire McCarthy has increased her already massive following with a masterclass on hand instrumentation that is expected to be the mainstay of periodontal treatment as clinical dentistry resumes. Restorative materials for use in Covid-era MI dentistry were tackled by two presenters at different stages of their lecture careers: Internationally renowned MI ambassador Professor Trevor Burke and a smash hit debut by GDP Nicola Bone for Septodont.

3. Digital dentistry

The dental lockdown has thrust the burgeoning subject of digital technology into the spotlight. Simon Fieldhouse delivered a cutting-edge presentation on digital restorative workflows for DentsplySirona and the fascinating world of video consulting was unveiled by Andrew Taylor and Ian Bergin on behalf of the Office of the Chief Dental Officer (OCDO) and Marcos White expanded this subject to include the latest advances in artificial intelligence for Dental Monitoring.

4. Dental Business

Planning your business future was a joint lecture presented by two of the best in the business. Denplan’s Jo Banks and Cathy Meagher gained even more fans as they presented a practical guide to business success in the challenging new world.

5. The future of UK dentistry

Each day of the conference was rounded off with guest speakers, invited to give their personal views on the future of general dental practice. Erudite, insightful and optimistic presentations were given by Julian Perry (Group commercial director of MyDentist), Eddie Crouch (Vice chairman of the BDA’s Principle Executive Committee), David Cottam (Chairman of the General Dental Practitioner’s committee) and anchor man Professor Nairn Wilson who presented a must-see road map describing the route that UK dentistry must take to ensure a bright, rewarding future.

Denplan would like to thank all the lecturers for joining forces to help Denplan teams get dentistry safely back on its feet as well as the thousands of viewers for taking time to tune in to this unprecedented ‘Unprecedental’ conference.

Special thanks also to Denplan’s partners from Oral-B, represented by Professional and Academic Relationship Manager Eva Castro; the dynamic team at Dental Update, in particular Lisa Dunbar for brilliantly coordinating over 100 hours of live webinars to record-breaking audiences; David Russell for masterminding the outstandingly innovative social media advertising campaign alongside Denplan’s Marketing Team, and finally to the legendary Managing Director of Dental Update Journal, Stuart Thompson, for helping create these ground-breaking CPD events, the pinnacle of a close, thirty-year working relationship between Dental Update and Denplan.