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ROOTS SUMMITThe Endo File Cabinet

ROOTS SUMMIT 1 - TORONTO June 2001 - My impressions
For those of you who were not at the Summit, here are my own impressions and personal observations of Roots Summit 1.

Before arriving in Toronto, I really wasn't sure of what I would be attending or what I had gotten myself into. Although I had been a subscriber roots for quite a while, I only recently began to get it as "receive as sent" format that allowed me to view all the images. That was because I'm a member of a few other (non-dental) E-mail lists/internet interest groups and I get TONS of mail every day. Nevertheless, Dr. Ken Serota's enthusiasm and persistence in getting it done suggested to me that this was no ordinary "meeting". I had never met "Kendo" even though I had been fairly active in the Canadian Endodontic community for almost 15 years. (That seemed strange to me but the fact is that Ken's ideas of interaction and connectivity are outside the mainstream of organized endodontic specialist thinking in Canada. I think its because the concept of cyber-community is relatively new and intimidating to those not entirely familiar with it . Roots is the great equalizer because when you post… no one cares about the size of your swelled head, the number of letters after your name, your "reputation", your political affiliations or commercial connections. When you post, your binary characters are handled just the same way as the next person's. Its all about the free sharing of information on an equal basis and I get the feeling that some people in the more "traditional" non cyber-communities have difficulty with that concept.)

For those of you who haven't met him, suffice to say that it is Ken's drive and energy that has allowed him to implement the ideas of the true Endodontic cyber-community and connectivity that I thought were not yet possible in Dentistry. Intense? Yup. Motivated? Absolutely. Meshuga? (maybe a little bit) but those who propose new ideas often are thought of as a bit "different". I credit him with the ability to recognize that there ARE clinicians out there in cyberspace who really want to get connected to each other in the name of endodontic excellence. All we needed was a vehicle and a bit of organization and for this he is to be commended. I am sure that putting Roots together was (and is) a LOT of work. We can all share the load by contributing to the whole. Lurkers out there… that means YOU. What was most enjoyable about the seminar, (for those of you who did not attend - shame on you) was the complete absence of ego/product-push/sales emphasis and political BS that seems to have infected most other meetings/seminars that I have attended. Everyone who was there immediately checked his or her egos in at the door. Where else could you find clinicians with the experience and excellence of Carr, Stropko and McSpadden in a venue that allowed both generalist and specialist to interact with them in an intimate pressure-less setting. I attribute that to the nature of the cyber-community and the intimacy that it brings when we clinicians open ourselves up to the discussion of things that really matter to us. Unlike "letters to the editor" or "once a year meetings".

Roots is very effective in drawing us together because it allows for immediate input and reaction to posts that are important to us right here and now. Friendships develop much more quickly when discussions occur without the negative influences of ego, judgment, animosity or vested interests.

Special thanks to: Uzi B. - looked pretty relaxed up there on the podium. Did a great job on the MTA and Cracked tooth presentations Ben S. - Another BU guy (like me). Super presentation on hypochlorite. Folks… this is the bleach guy. Any questions on NaOCl should be addressed to him. Has a fetish for PMN Leukocytes from his cytology days ! Peter C. - Always smiling. Gary C. - see below. Any time you can avail yourself of his expertise…do it. Multitalented. Where does he get the time to learn how to do all of it so well? John Mc. - My first look at one of Endodontics' legends. What can you say about a man who pioneered the use of scopes, rotary technology and endoscopy. If you do NOT have the article he posted here on roots re rotary instruments and breakage… get it. I predict it will become a classic paper. Quite a catch for the seminar in my opinion. Hans H. - Very nice presentation re a different rotary technique. Hey Rooters! You should try giving a presentation in a second language. Its tough. And Hans came through in flying colors. Now, if we can just convince his countrymen to accept his bone magnets we won't have to worry about bailing him out of jail. Willy P. - flies in from France to pinch-hit for another presenter at a moments notice. Wonderful presentation on the new Profile. I think we all came away from it with perfect understanding of the rationale for the new taper.

1. Generalist input was welcomed. Unlike other specialist meetings where it seems that the generalist is regarded as a second class citizen, their opinions were valued just as much as that of the specialist. In fact, I very often didn't know (and in some cases still don't) whether the speaker limited his/her practice to endo. How refreshing! The generalists were especially knowledgeable about dental materials (an area where I seem to be unable to keep up). I appreciated their input and ideas. The non-threatening atmosphere encouraged them to participate more fully. (Someone please post info about materials for covering the orifices/pulpal floor of finished endo cases!! That was great ! Maybe that will help me discourage the dreaded "Multiple Molar Post Syndrome". Another fantastic topic that we must have at the next meeting! Thanks !) I was surprised at the level of endodontic understanding of many of the general dentists at the Summit. They had a real appreciation for concepts of endodontic rationale, cleaning and shaping, seal and anatomy. While many of my referrals can do fairly good endodontic treatment themselves, I found this group to have a much higher level of "endodontic awareness". They grasped concepts that most of my referrals do not. I'm not sure of whether that is directly the result of Roots or whether they already had this level if interest and merely discovered Roots was the logical outlet for their above average interest in endodontics. ( Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

2. Presenters sometimes uttered the phrase "I don't know" without embarrassment or hesitation.
Again, unlike many other meetings where a comment like that would be met with sub-audible derision, snickers and ridicule, Rooters were quick to offer assistance, comment, observations and suggestions. Each audience comment was greeted with enthusiasm and respect, whether it was from the distinguished veteran Endodontists or newer licensed generalists. What a way to encourage participation ! It was just like an online forum discussion but you actually got to see the person making the comment. How Cool ! (You should have seen the number of laptops at the meeting!! Whenever the speaker's software hiccupped, there was a rush of bodies to the podium to help with getting the lecture back up as fast as possible. You want to talk about pulling together? !! It was awesome.)

3. Although the meeting was small by most standards, the commercial sponsors seem to have understood the importance of the Roots Summit 1. Companies like Global, Spartan/Obtura, Tulsa and Ultradent, Sybron and others all provided great support. Where else could you have 25 scopes delivered and assembled for a 2-hour demo !! Can you imagine the costs (even just for shipping/setups for the scopes !?) I can tell them (and you) that I am much more likely to consider purchase of a product like a microscope when I can get hands on instruction and opinions from clinicians like myself rather than some rep or dealer. Rooters like Yosi and Glen are much more likely to understand and have an appreciation for my particular practice situation. That makes a big difference in my decision to buy.

4. Gary Carr
He continues to amaze me every time I see him talk. There are lots of very competent Endodontists out there but few with the breadth and depth of knowledge in so many different areas : Photography, Scopes, Ergonomics, Retrofilling, Retreatment, instruments and instrument design, Computers, Software, Evidence based Dentistry, Digital imaging, Information Gathering, etc, etc. We are very fortunate to number him among our members. He is an invaluable resource. Thanks for coming Gary !

5. Dinner Friday evening at North 44 was delicious.
Glen was right, the place was buzzing with discussion at every table. The time went much too fast.

Funniest moments
- Ben Schein is discussing irrigation and the use of surfactants (surface tension reducing agents) with NaOCl. He suggests the use of KY jelly with the spermicide Nonoxynol-9. One of our 2 female attendees asks exactly how to use the KY Jelly. 60+ male volunteers immediately offer to assist her with a practical demo. The result : Much laughter and one red face.
- Willy Pertot showing us the new experimental "white MTA"

Suggestions: Ken, next time have everyone stand at the start and introduce himself or herself. Ie/ name, location, character of practice. Some of us are a bit shy and I would have liked to meet a few more of the attendees. It also helps us to understand that although we have various backgrounds/teaching/practice influences we are all there for one thing… to share endodontic knowledge.

More time needed for gattling gun case presentations. So many cases to show, so much to learn, so little time. Make a 30 hour day for each seminar.

San Diego 2002?…. Sounds good to me.