The Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration (SEPA) has replaced its annual congress – the biggest such event in European periodontology outside of the triennial EuroPerio – with a totally virtual offering spread over 78 days.
Launched on 11 September and running until 28 November, the Sepa OnAir 2020 congress involves lectures and symposia structured around five areas: periodontology and implant therapy, oral hygiene, interdisciplinary collaboration, digital dentistry, and the management of the dental practice.
It also features ExpoPerio, an online exhibition with dozens of companies and dentistry-related institutions showing their latest products and initiatives.
SEPA president Dr Antonio Bujaldón described Sepa OnAir 2020 as “a new concept of a scientific and training meeting that is more open, accessible, and international, overcoming both geographical and language barriers (most of the sessions will have simultaneous translation).”
He added that it would strengthen the society’s coverage of the training needs of its members and of dental professionals in general: “We have sought to fully adapt and transform the congress and the commercial exhibition, using tools that facilitate the access to knowledge and continuous education that a congress provides, as well as a more dynamic interaction with companies in the sector.”
Sepa OnAir 2020 was designed, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which is hitting Spain harder than any other European country, as a replacement for the annual congress that was due to be held in Malaga in May and then changed to Valencia in November.
“This virtual congress is a new way of contributing to the spread of knowledge, which is the raison d’être of a scientific entity,” said the society’s vice-president José Nart, “This offers many advantages: it can increase the impact, and it can facilitate access by professionals with time and travel limitations, as well as allowing the application of innovative formulas so that businesses can show the true value of their projects.”
Topics to be covered over the 80-day virtual congress include advances in research, prevention and management of mucogingival problems, prevention and treatment of peri-implantitis, systemic diseases and their relationship with oral health, and the latest in interdisciplinary management of oral problems.
There will also be a session (November 6) devoted to the treatment of periodontitis stages I, II, and III according to the EFP S3-level clinical practice guideline.
National speakers include Juan Blanco, David Herrera, Antonio Liñares, Paula Matasanz, Nerea Sánchez, Mariano Sanz, and Nuria Vallcorba.
Among the international speakers are Vanessa Blanc, Tord Berglundh, Francesco Cairo, Massimo De Sanctis, Ronald Jung, Anton Sculean, Martina Stefanini, Maurizio Tonetti, and Otto Zuhr.
The congress is seeking to give special visibility to women researchers and clinicians: more than 40% of speakers are women, three times the number of last year’s congress.
Sepa2020 OnAir also includes informative sessions for patients, provided via the YouTube channel of the society's magazine Cuida Tus Encías [Take care of your gums].
This is one of a series of articles about how EFP-affiliated national societies of periodontology have responded to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.