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Features / July 9, 2023

IAAGDS Annual Meeting – Clinically relevant and concise

by Tom Houlihan

The Annual Meeting will take place at the Conrad Dublin in September

The Irish Academy of American Graduate Dental Specialists Annual Meeting is coming to the Conrad Dublin this September. Tom Houlihan explains why it’s an ideal event for all dentists.

Tell us a bit about your background.

I was a general dentist for 20 years before going to America in 2008 to do a postgraduate qualification in orthodontics at the University of Washington, Seattle. After graduating, I came back to Ireland in 2011 and set up in private practice.

What is it about orthodontics that makes the treatment so exciting for you?

I love the treatment planning aspect. It is challenging to implement the plan, but this is the exciting part, to react to non-planned movements that teeth constantly throw up.  

And, of course, the final day of braces removal. To see the joy on the patient’s face, that is the best part!

What are the common challenges you face during treatment?

Space closure (or the slowness sometimes!) and keeping patients motivated in their oral hygiene.

How did you get involved with the Irish Academy of American Graduate Dental Specialists (IAAGDS)?

I loved the IAAGDS meetings as a general dentist because of the format and I always found the speakers enthusiastic. 

Usually, there are 12 speakers who each have 20 minutes allotted to them. This makes their talks very direct. Also, as they’re from various specialties, the general dentist can get a lot of pointers quickly in one Saturday morning (and for free with three hours’ CPD as well!).

Tell us about the 2023 IAAGDS Annual Scientific Meeting.

This year’s IAAGDS Annual Scientific Meeting with be held in September at the Conrad Dublin Hotel. 

It is a three and a half hour long meeting. Split between two rooms, there will be six speakers per room, giving 20-minute presentations on an aspect relevant to dentists.

We will be announcing the speaker line-up during the summer – watch this space! 

But rest assured, the topics will be delivered by specialists in their field with relevant pointers to the general dentist’s practice.

I would urge all to come along. It’s sure to be a great Saturday morning and especially this year, as it’s our 40th anniversary!

What makes the course different?

I think one of the things that makes the IAAGDS meeting different to others is the shorter lecture presentations – 20-minute talks are very attractive. The talks are relevant and short and to the point; there should be very little waffle (not that there is waffle in longer presentations!).

Delegates can expect to walk away with relevant points for their everyday practice.

The idea is that delegates will be able to apply what they’ve learned straight away in practice. The speakers are all specialists trained in North America and will direct the talks with this in mind, relevant ideas.

What does the future hold for dentistry?

I think it is exciting for sure. For me, 3D scanning and 3D resin printing has dramatically changed how I practise orthodontics in the last three years. I can’t wait to see what other changes it brings! 

IAAGDS Annual Meeting

The IAAGDS Annual Scientific Meeting will be on Saturday 23 September at 9am at the Conrad Dublin Hotel, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. The conference is free to attend and will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Irish Academy of American Graduate Dental Specialists.

For further details and to register, visit