President’s Message: California, Here We Come

By Terryl A. Propper, D.D.S., M.S.


PropperTerrylI can see the Golden Gate Bridge in my mind’s eye and am looking forward to AAE16 with anticipation! I’m excited for so many reasons – to witness a year of planning come to fruition, to share the culmination of a challenging year as president, to connect with friends from all over the world, to celebrate our successes and to have the opportunity to talk to the membership about the issues facing our specialty. AAE16 has all the makings of one of the top meetings in our history. It is difficult to keep the annual meeting fresh and innovative, but this year’s planning committee rose to the challenge and developed an event that’s as dynamic and vibrant as the city of San Francisco.

Just as San Francisco is a m‚lange of people, cuisine and cultures, AAE16’s offerings are diverse, with something to appeal to every taste. AAE16 General Chair Dr. Robert B. Amato and Program Chair Dr. Donna J. Mattscheck embraced my call to energize and modernize our annual meeting by introducing new formats to the educational program.

For example, the new “CE Express” track is a series of 30-minute presentations, as opposed to the traditional 90-minute lectures. Based on the popular TED Talks, these sessions will provide focused, succinct information on a variety of topics. Look for new presentation formats in the other educational tracks as well – point/counterpoint, panel discussions and, in a can’t-miss session, Dr. Kenneth M. Hargreaves will play the role of talk show host as he interviews experts in our specialty on the past, present and future of endodontic treatment.

Those of us who have attended AAE meetings over the years have been awed by presenters who detail their abilities to remove a separated instrument in microseconds or dislodge a post with the touch of the magic ultrasonic, and show case after case of multiple portals of exit, tortuous root anatomy and remarkable repairs of resorptive defects and iatrogenic perforations. But when was the last time you saw a presentation on a case that didn’t go according to plan? AAE16 will debut the Derailment educational track, featuring unpleasant clinical and practice management situations and how the presenter managed the fallout. Every endodontist eventually experiences these issues – missing a canal, perforating a tooth, separating an instrument, upsetting a patient, encountering a staff or management conflict. The Derailment track is all about sharing those experiences and learning from our mistakes.

I am particularly looking forward to the hands-on Mandibular Molar Microsurgical Workshop, which will be taught by Dr. Richard Rubinstein and held in the University of the Pacific’s state-of-the-art dental laboratory. In my travels across the country this year, concern that postgraduate students are receiving limited surgical training has been prevalent at regional, affiliate and component endodontic groups, from faculty, postdocs and practicing endodontists alike. I was made aware that many of our postgraduate programs provide their surgical training through a privatized surgery course at another institution. It is more important than ever that we make surgical skills a priority for endodontists.Our specialty has an extremely limited scope of services, and competency in performing apicoectomies, crown lengthening and other surgical procedures increases our relevance as specialists in saving teeth.

Throughout this year, the Board of Directors and I have been focusing on engaging our resident and early career members. Continuing with these efforts, AAE16’s schedule on Friday will feature programming dedicated to this group. The day’s CE Express offerings will cover topics of importance to residents and new practitioners, such as entering private practice, purchasing insurance and managing finances. Later that afternoon, residents can network with employers at the Career Fair and meet their peers from around the world at the Resident Reception.

Connecting with colleagues is another reason to attend the largest endodontic meeting in the world. AAE16 has an impressive slate of social functions and receptions, providing ample opportunities to see friends. Wednesday evening will see the return of the Welcome Reception in the form of a Napa Valley wine tasting with light hors d’oeuvres. It’s the perfect beginning to a night of exploring San Francisco’s incredible dining and nightlife. The Coolidge Luncheon, honoring the 2016 recipients of the AAE’s highest awards, will take place on Friday instead of Saturday this year. Then on Friday night, you won’t want to missCelebrate San Francisco! at the fascinating Exploratorium science museum, with food, drinks and live music.

There’s so much to look forward to at AAE16 – endodontists and endodontic exhibitors from all over the world, a first-classcity, and CE with an infusion of innovation and fun. Registration is now open at www.aae.org/AAE16. I hope to see you in San Francisco!