Stuart Aherne discusses what the future has in store for dentistry and his upcoming lecture at the Irish Dentistry Show on 9 September.
Please tell us about your background.
I was born in the UK and lived there until I was five when we moved to Cork.
I moved to Wales to gain an undergraduate degree in dentistry at Cardiff University. After qualifying in 2001, I did a year vocational dental training in Cardiff. I moved back to Cork in 2002 and I have been practising at Aherne Dental Clinic ever since.
Between 2009 and 2011, I carried out a two-year distance learning course in dental implantology at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, and completed a diploma in implant dentistry in the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 2016.
You’re presenting at the Irish Dentistry Show on 9 September. What will you be discussing during your session?
My session is called ‘Digital dentistry approach for implant therapy’.
Digital dentistry has transformed the way we practise. From the first consultation to the final fit of an implant crown, digital dentistry improves patient communication, provides safer outcomes for implant surgery and improves the accuracy of fitting implant crowns.
This presentation will show how digital tools can improve implant therapy options and how to go about using them. Without a doubt, digital dentistry is going to improve its technology and is the future of implant dentistry.
What is it about dental implants that makes the treatment so exciting for you?
I think, for me, the most exciting is knowing how dental implants can transform patients’ lives. When you have a patient who presents feeling like a hopeless case on day one to crying from happiness in the chair at the finished appointment. It’s not something that happens every day, but it’s a special moment when it does happen.
Do you have a preferred implant system?
My preferred implant system is Thommen Medical. It’s a Swiss implant company that I have come to know and trust in the last 10 years. Its engineering and attention to detail is at an unbelievably high level and its products have excellent predictability.
What does the future hold for dentistry?
Digital dentistry is the hot topic at the moment, and I do feel that this is going to have a big part to play now and in the future. However, I don’t think dentists will be replaced with AI any time soon, but all of this will help dentists provide a more consistent treatment to the wider public.
Stuart will be speaking at the Irish Dentistry Show on 9 September at RDS Dublin. For more information, visit dentistry.co.uk/shows/irish-dentistry-show.