Dr David Treagus attends the ESE Biennial Congress in Budapest
Dentistry is an ever-changing field. With over 10,000 journal articles published within dentistry each year alone (Asiri et al., 2020), knowing what to read, who to listen to and what to adapt is often a minefield. But with all this content, plus that from social media, finding a way to keep your head above the clouds and seek some form of clarity is vital.
I have recently just returned from the European Society of Endodontics Biennial Congress in Budapest, and it offered exactly that, clarity. A fantastic opportunity to listen to the eminent speakers from around the world in their respective fields, and network with valued colleagues from both home and abroad.
Irrigant activation techniques
One topic that was fantastic to hear an update on was irrigant activation techniques. I’m particularly interested in this as it was part of my research during my Masters in Endodontology. The idea of activating the disinfectants we use in root treatments is simple; imagine when we clean our car, we don’t just hose water on it, we use detergent and we scrub the car. Similarly, when disinfecting root canal systems we shouldn’t rely on syringes alone to deliver our disinfectant, we should be activating our disinfectants, be it through sonic, ultrasonic methods or even through manual dynamic activation.
The current research is unfortunately still inconclusive as to whether any system is superior and further research is certainly required (Susila & Minu, 2019), but as Manual Dynamic Activation requires no further equipment, this seems most practical for the general dentist to be using. On final disinfection, with irrigant in the canal, place your master gutta-percha cone, and rapidly pump up and down for one minute. This will encourage the disinfectant into all complex anatomy in the canal system.
Techniques for fractured instrument removal
Another interesting topic from the Congress was an update on modern, less invasive techniques for fractured instrument removal. Dr Zaher Altaqi, Microscopic Root Canal Specialist, and Dr Yoshi Terauchi, Lecturer and Practice limited to Endodontics, gave fascinating updates on predictably removing instruments: Cone Beam CT to diagnose the location and difficulty, then ultrasonic preparation techniques and loop removal techniques to retrieve the broken instrument.
Vital Pulp Therapies
Finally, as endodontists, our mainstay is root treating teeth, but this is changing. We are able to keep pulps alive and healthy with modern Vital Pulp Therapies, and we should be championing keeping pulps healthy where possible. There was an update from speakers of both the American Association of Endodontics and the European Society of Endodontics, who have both recently released position statements regarding Vital Pulp Therapies (American Association of Endodontists, 2021; Duncan et al., 2019). It was interesting to see the debate between the two, however it was clear that both agree if we can keep a pulp alive then we should.
I understand that as busy dentists it is challenging to keep up to date with the latest literature, but it is vital that we do so to continue to successfully practice modern dentistry. By engaging in national and international conferences and events, we can do just that. There are thriving communities, such as the British Endodontic Society, that we as dental professionals practising endodontology can join. As well as several other disciplines with their own active groups where we can further our knowledge.
At Vermilion, we too do our best to try to distil the latest techniques with our CPD programme. This year’s Programme has just come to an end, and our 2023 Programme will be announced in the New Year. This exciting line-up will include Vermilion’s Biennial Symposium.
Remember it’s easy to get lost, overwhelmed and lose direction. But by staying grounded and building a network of friends, mentors and colleagues you can gain clarity.