When you become a dentist, it does not just stop there. As a student, there is only so much you will learn. So, a lot of the professional development needs to be done after graduation, especially the more difficult treatments, if you want to keep growing. I guess it will be like that for a lot of professions. Therefor I often find myself travelling across the country to stay up to date as most courses are not run locally, in the North East. That takes time, dedication, commitment and really is a sacrifice of precious time away from my own family. And then we are not even talking about the cost of all this. It contributes to why private dentistry is more expensive and of a different caliber. However, not all can be done in the UK. It is the international training that usually brings great minds together and often pushes boundaries.
Last weekend I travelled to Basel, Switzerland for the World Symposium of the ITI (International Team of Implantology), where I am a member of. I was also invited to visit the Straumann Production Centre in Villeret. It was fantastic. To see how our implants are produced and understand why these little bits of metal are so expensive. To physically see how they are tested and that they are re-tested and again tested to the max was so valuable. We were not allowed to take pictures, but were shown around all the different Production Areas and got to see all that was there. The Straumann team was so welcoming and all days at the Symposium they made us feel truly spoiled. It is great to have found such a great partner in them.
The World Symposium was of a different league again: 5000 forward thinking individuals together, connecting with likeminded professionals from all over the world, while being educated on the newest research and winding down on a party afterwards!
Having translators work around the clock to make sure everybody got their bit out of it from all the intellect that was being presented. And a nice little extra for me was that I was able to meet up with speakers and colleagues whom I had met previously during my education week at Harvard and Tufts University in Boston, USA!
Of course despite the amazing time I miss my little family, but sometimes it has to be done to be able to grow and to be able to keep giving our patients what they deserve and expect from us.
We never stop learning. Because, like Straumann, we do more than Creating Smiles, we Restore Confidence.