The AAE celebrated 75 years of saving teeth at this year’s annual meeting, as more than 4,000 members, guests and exhibitors gathered in Denver. A brand-new and buzzworthy educational track—Controversies & Hot Topics—drew hundreds of participants eager to hear dialogue on today’s challenges and tomorrow’s solutions regarding canal cleaning and disinfection. Hot Topics track attendees also enjoyed an afternoon of Lincoln-Douglas style, case-based debate on surgical versus nonsurgical retreatment.
In addition to the new educational track, four other categories offered quality continuing education: Surgical, Endodontics Without Limits, Interdisciplinary and Essentials for Endodontic Practice, as well as several submitted presentations.
Wrapping up Day One of AAE18, the immensely inspiring Aron Ralston—subject of the best-selling book and film "127 Hours"—brought many audience members to tears with his gripping tale of a harrowing experience that tested the very limits of human persistence. "We all have boulders in our lives," he said. "What’s your boulder?"
At the annual President’s Breakfast, Dr. Garry L. Myers called on younger members to be creative and optimistic about what lies ahead for the specialty. "To our residents and new practitioners, you are our future. You have inherited the foundation that has been laid for the past 75 years," he said. Dr. Myers also called on members to build strategic partnerships at all levels and in all disciplines, saying communication will be key. "How people interact and communicate will be the defining factor for the success for all of us, both within the AAE and in our interactions outside of the AAE. Be engaged with your profession and your professional colleagues."
There was also the past president pinning and passing of the gavel between Dr. Myers and President-Elect Dr. Patrick E. Taylor. Upon assuming his role as president, Dr. Taylor said, "the specialty needs a voice at all levels, from as many different types of endodontist as possible: private practice, academia, military, institutional and corporate. Stand up for endodontics. Let people know the value of endodontics done well to save teeth."
Dr. Myers also announced the AAE’s new consumer engagement initiative. In collaboration with publication relations firm APCO, creative strategies have been formulated and aimed at a specific target audience that should be most receptive to our message and it is anticipated that other audiences will also hear this message as it is made. "This consumer engagement initiative is expected to launch by the end of the calendar year," Dr. Myers said. "With a more targeted demographic of the general public and with the involvement of our members throughout this process, we have the potential to move the needle in a significant direction toward the public’s understanding of just who an endodontist is."
Also at the President’s Breakfast, Dr. Myers presented the President’s Award, which honors exceptional members who work behind the scenes to promote and advance the Association. Dr. Mark B. Desrosiers of Connecticut received the honor this year. Dr. Desrosiers was recognized for his commitment to organized dentistry at the local, state and national levels with the AAE and ADA. He also currently serves on the Public and Professional Relations Committee.
Other AAE18 highlights included the annual Louis I. Grossman Ceremony, where 108 new Diplomates—the largest class to date!—of the American Board of Endodontics were pinned and the Edgar D. Coolidge Awards Brunch, recognizing the 2018 recipients of the Association’s highest honors and awards. At the General Assembly, the members approved a change to the Association’s bylaws, eliminating a requirement that members maintain membership in the ADA or the national equivalent after they have joined the AAE.
Photos from AAE18 will be added to the AAE Flickr album! You can favorite, share or download the images using the icons that appear in the lower-right corner when viewing an image.
Save the date and plan to attend AAE19, April 10-13, 2018, in Montreal. The AAE looks forward to seeing you there!