AES and The Chicago Midwinter 2020

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Late February, it can be a difficult time of year, particularly if it’s been a long, wet winter but there are positives.  For the past twenty years I’ve taken a week off work and gone to the USA. No, not a skiing trip or Florida. Every February it’s The Windy City for me.

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Now in its 65th year, The American Equilibration Society (AES) meets in Chicago every February for their annual 2-day educational meeting.  Timed to coincide with the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, AES always has the best program, mixing academic research with practical dentistry, occlusal-restorative with TMD, literature search and patient care, all from world class speakers.  

This year’s Keynote Speaker was Frank Spear who was impressive and thoughtful as ever but there were also other great presentations. Denture Occlusion from Nader Sharifi (not something I’d really thought about for some years), Occlusion and its relationship to the joint/disc assembly from Jim McKee, High expectation Patients from Bob Winter. Dental Trauma, Airway and Orthodontics, Airway and Surgery, Peri-Implant Diseases, and HPV and transmission. Dennis Harlich spoke on CPR for the Worn Dentition and gave a post conference masterclass on composite rebuilding.

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It was also the first meeting of AES since one of the giants of Occlusion, Pete Dawson, passed away. There were many moving tributes and I feel privileged to have heard Pete speak at AES many times, most notably last year at what was to be his last presentation. He gave us an hour on the Occlusion Wars from the Seventies and Eighties when so much disagreement happened. Fortunately, those arguments have been resolved and we now have general consensus.

After the 2 Day AES Meeting I went to The Midwinter – 30,000 dentists and staff attend annually. As an International Dentist you can attend for $150 and, if you’re quick to register (which opens in November) you can often sign up for free lectures. I managed to hear Terry Tanaka and Gary DeWood for $20 each. Amazing value! They also have a massive Trade Show and every year sees the launch of new products. There are several other groups who meet at the same time too, including Fixed Prosthodontics and the Restorative Society so there’s something, whatever your interest.

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The social side isn’t too bad either. Every year we enjoy the President’s Reception, Andy Miles’ Rum Party and dinner in some great restaurants. So if you’re interested in coming in the future, visit the AES and the Chicago Dental Society websites to sign up. Don’t miss the AES Opening Ceremony and be sure to say Hello, you’ll see many familiar faces. Jette, Chris Parte and I go every year and Alison, Devin, Hamish as well as Ken Peters and Dan Selner are all regular attendees. I’ve heard some fantastic speakers over the years, made many good friends and am proud to be a member of AES.

Mark Hargreaves 2020