The 34th Australian Dental Congress has come and gone. It was a resounding success with excellent attendance by delegates who attended a wide variety of lectures from international and local speakers. The theme for the Congress was ‘Back to the Future – Now and Tomorrow’ and attendees were not let down. Right from the initial registration process using electronic printing of the name badges with an electronic recognition system for recording continuing education points and session attendance, delegates must have guessed that they were experiencing the future of continuing dental education now. While the lectures were held in traditional style, I wonder how many people viewed the poster boards where the country’s postgraduate students presented their latest research. This innovative use of technology was excellent and certainly took the traditional form of poster presentation to a new level and let the viewers experience the future there and then in a highly interactive manner.

One of the most common comments I experienced was that many felt the numbers in attendance were proof that compulsory continuing professional dental education had begun to take effect. This has been a long overdue development for dentistry in Australia and one which I have supported for many years. I was heartened to hear many times how much attendees were enjoying not only the scientific content of the lectures but also taking in the offerings of the trade exhibit and, most importantly, talking with friends and colleagues about what the Congress was all about – dentistry.

The organizing committees can now take a well earned rest but not before they carefully review the process of the Congress to ensure that the future can be built on the successes of the present. Congratulations to our Queensland colleagues who, as we all know, have had some difficult times in the lead up to the staging of this Congress. If you did not attend then you do not know what you missed out on but hopefully as the continuing education bug begins to bite deeper, we will see even more at the next Congress in Melbourne, 3–7 April 2013.

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