The prospect of attending my very first BDA conference and exhibition was definitely an exciting one. Yet I certainly hadn't anticipated the variety of treats and surprises in store on my arrival! I was met with much enthusiasm by the green ninjas of Denplan and their Ninja Beer bar. It did what bars so wonderfully do, and provided a meeting point for the many delegates from around the country. I had the pleasure of meeting a wide variety of both undergraduates and experienced dentists, sharing their wisdom and listening to some hugely entertaining anecdotes. Having missed his lecture I was lucky enough to bump into James Hamill, a young dentist and private practice owner. As expected, he was a truly charismatic and inspiring gentleman. His hints and tips on the path to success were enthralling, his young dentist based knowledge truly invaluable.
Crucial lessons in restorative dentistry
The aesthetics lecture, 'Direct aesthetic restorations and how to avoid common mistakes' by Dr Angelo Putignano was a delight. Jasneet Singh Gulati, president of Sheffield Dental School commented that "the content of Dr Putignano's lecture was not only entertaining but also imparted some invaluable advice and contained a few crucial lessons in restorative dentisty." Dr Putignano explained several clinical cases and the various techniques he likes to use highlighting the importance of patient autonomy in decision making. He also showcased his impressive portfolio of clientele with some striking visuals, all in all an insightful lecture.
Support from the top
The highlight of the conference for me was meeting Peter Ward and Susie Sanderson. As a member of the BDSA, discussing concerns as students in the current changing climate, and gaining an insight into the support available from our trade union was motivating. Despite his very busy schedule at the conference Mr Ward carefully considered our queries surrounding details of vocational training proposals and NHS funding. He offered us extensive advice, logical plans of action and most importantly unbounded support. I was in awe of his true dedication to the interests and welfare of dental undergraduates, and found him both charming and delightful. He was truly inspirational.
I left Manchester having filled my Colgate tote bag with all manner of tooth related goodies from a variety of trade stalls. I had received a massage and ice cream courtesy of Oral B, gained some knowledge of the scope of products available to dentists, and had the good fortune to gain from some of the highest profile speakers and delegates in our field. Next year's conference couldn't come soon enough!