Exciting innovations at FDI Madrid 2017
Dr Patrick Hescot, FDI President, describes what makes the FDI World Dental Congress different: pertinent debate, a unique atmosphere and innovative forums.
What innovations will we see at this year's congress?
I'm very excited that the topic of the 2017 World Oral Health Forum (WOHF) will be global periodontal health. We've been working on the periodontal project since 2015 and the WOHF will be an opportunity to open the subject to a wider debate. The Preliminary Programme will be issued later this month so you'll get an outline of other hot-topic sessions and symposia planned in Madrid.
In practical terms, we've been perfecting the congress app over the past three years and it's developing into a better and better tool for time management during the congress, with new features added year-on-year.
How many abstracts do you expect to be submitted this year?
Abstract submissions are always variable and can rarely be expected to increase in number every year. But it has been encouraging to see in recent times the exceptional rise in the quality of abstracts submitted – this is a particularly noteworthy trend. The fact that accepted abstracts are published in a special supplement to the International Dental Journal is a huge incentive for researchers to get visibility for their work through a reputable publication, with the associated exposure and publicity hopefully helping them boost their profile.
What is the particular attraction of the FDI World Dental Congress?
I've been participating in the FDI World Dental Congress for some 30 years and there is something very unique about the atmosphere and the sense of a world community of dentists. It starts with the opening, which rewards the host dental association with a huge opportunity to highlight their national cultural heritage – not to mention, the international dimension illustrated by the flag ceremony, now in video rather than staged, but still very moving. It reminds us of the global reach of FDI as well as the commitment of our member associations at a national level.
What is your prediction for the dental exhibition?
Madrid is a very exciting prospect for exhibitors to display their equipment, products and services in a mature and growing oral health market. Nearly 10% of Europe's dentists are in Spain making it the continent's fourth largest dental market – and growth in the dental market is estimated at around 2% a year. We're expecting to see a good mix of large multinationals and local industry – plus, an FDI speciality, smaller equipment and materials manufacturers exhibiting on national or regional pavilions.
What sort of congress do you envisage?
I envisage an extremely well-organized and comfortable event. Well-organized because it is being developed by my long-term friends and colleagues at the Spanish Dental Association and I’ve attended the fine congresses they organize. Comfortable because the congress venue is spacious and well-designed, which is why it is so popular among congress organizers around the world. You can expect to stay as well as arrive and leave in comfort too. Madrid offers a wide range of excellent hotels - and Madrid Barajas International Airport, just 12 km from Madrid, is a major hub and has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Airport Council Award for Best European Airport.