Links across the Atlantic

Dr Sean Malone

RCSI Dental Faculty is preparing for an invasion of US delegates for this year’s Annual Scientific Meeting

As a former president of the Irish Dental Association, Dr Sean Malone has plenty of experience organising and speaking at major dental events.

And his planning skills have been put to good use over the last four years as chair of the programme committee for the Dental Faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s (RCSI) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).

Sean explained that, as this year marks Dr John Walsh’s last year as dean of the faculty, tradition dictates that the theme of the ASM reflects the subject area or special interest of the dean. To that end, the theme of the 2016 event is ‘Small Beginnings, Big Outcomes’ reflecting Dr Walsh’s area of interest – paediatric dentistry.

And, as Dr Walsh has strong links with the US, having studied in Indiana and the University of Washington to gain his masters in pedodontics and orthodontics, this year’s ASM will see an invasion of American dentists. Sean explained that a few dentists came over last year – including Amr Moursi who is speaking again this year – and talks began then to have the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) come over and host a joint meeting with the RCSI Dental Faculty.

Sean explained that this is a unique experience but it builds on the strong links the faculty has with the US.

He said: “There is a strong connection between Ireland and the US, not least because the faculty runs a postgraduate programme in conjunction with the New York School of Dentistry.

“However, this is the first time we have held a joint meeting with another organisation. We held a meeting with the college of oral surgery at DDUH about four years ago, but this is the first time we have joined with an overseas society.”

With about 130 US delegates coming over with the AAPD, Sean explained that the only problem they are foreseeing is finding space for delegates from Ireland that want to attend. He said: “It is a great problem to have, but the US delegates coming over will mean that spaces at this year’s ASM are going to be at a premium.”

Those fortunate enough to get a space at the meeting will see a great line–up of speakers from Ireland, the UK and the US. Dr Paul Casamassimo, Dr Amr Moursi, Dr Jessica Lee, Dr Arun Sharma and Dr Jeff Dean will be coming over from America and they will be joined by Irish and UK speakers Prof Helen Whelton, Dr Billy Fenlon, Dr Anne O’Connell, Dr Pat Cleary, Dr Dympna Daly, DrEbrahim Al Awadhi and Dr Tim Wright.

Sean said: “The three things I always say about the programme at the ASM are: number one, it has to be relevant to general practice; number two, it has to be academically strong; and number three, it has to have a little bit of controversy in it. They are the three things I look for in every ASM.”

He picked out a couple of potentially controversial talks that he is particularly looking forward to. He said: “On the Friday we are having a debate, ‘The Hall Technique. Pros and Cons’ with Dr Tim Wright and Dr Paul Casamassimo, that is a very hot topic at the moment, so that will be very interesting.

“Another one is Dr Amr Moursi’s ‘Modern Concepts of Caries Risk Assessment and Therapeutic Decisions’ – the reason this is interesting is that America, and particularly South America, are way ahead of us in terms of diagnosis of decay in general practice. It sounds like it should be really basic, but actually they are way ahead of us. So it will be interesting to see where that leads us as well.”

Sean said that he thinks Dr Moursi’s lecture is also important as it is an area that is changing all the time. And, as the new Dentists Act is expected to bring in compulsory CPD, staying up to date has never been more important. He said: “I always say that the number of things that I do now in practice that I was taught to do the exact opposite of when I was a student is quite amazing. I think you have got to essentially retrain every five years. So, anybody who qualified seven years ago and hasn’t done any up–to–date stuff, they’re out of date.”

The culmination of the ASM this year will be the biannual Sheridan Lecture, which this year will be presented by Dr Jeff Dean, professor of pediatric dentistry and a professor of orthodontics at the Indiana University School of Dentistry and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

As well as the main scientific element of the ASM, Sean explained that the programme committee have organised a couple of social events as well to welcome their American guests. He explained that, as well as a welcoming reception on the Thursday night which will feature a group of young people from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the faculty will also hold a mini Ryder Cup– style golf event at Palmerston Golf Glub in Kildare after the ASM.

Sean said: “We are all looking forward to welcoming our friends from the United States and, as well as the scientific programme, I would encourage my colleagues from Ireland to come along and take advantage of the fantastic networking opportunities the event provides. The ASM is a great chance to meet people and share ideas, so I hope to see many of my Irish colleagues in Dublin in October.

The RCSI Dental Faculty’s Annual Scientific Meeting will take place on 28 and 29 October at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

For more information and to book your place, visit

Sheridan lecture

Edward Sheridan was born in Co Mayo in 1881 attending the Catholic University School in Dublin and graduating from RCSI Dental School in 1902. He subsequently attended medical school at the RCSI and obtained the FRCSI in 1908. Sheridan was a respected teacher in the Dublin Dental Hospital and served for many years as a senior staff member. He is distinguished as being the only practising dentist to be elected president of the RCSI. He also held the position of president of the Dental Board of the United Kingdom (the forerunner of the General Dental Council). The prestigious Sheridan Lecture is held in the RCSI Faculty of Dentistry on alternate years, the invited lecturer presents on a topic of their choice and is delivered as part of the Annual Scientific Meeting.

This year’s speaker, Dr Jeffrey A Dean, has been in private practice for over 25 years, and has been a faculty member at the IU School of Dentistry for over 20 years. He is the Ralph E. McDonald Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and a Professor of Orthodontics at the Indiana University School of Dentistry and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Purdue University (1979) and his master’s and doctoral degrees in dentistry, as well as his specialty certificates in pediatric dentistry (1985) and orthodontics (1996) from Indiana University. Jeff is board certified by both the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Board of Orthodontics. He is a past president of both the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the ABPD. Dr Dean is currently the executive director of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Jeff has also had the pleasure of serving with Drs Ralph McDonald and David Avery as the coeditor of a comprehensive textbook of pediatric dentistry titled, Dentistry for the Child and Adolescent. The text is popular throughout the world, has been published in six languages and is currently in its ninth edition.

Published: 23 June, 2016 at 13:54
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