Make an effort to attend the next IDS

June 24, 2013
Every two years in the late winter or early spring, the world’s largest dental meeting happens in Cologne, Germany. This year it happened in early March, and the weather was brutally cold.

by Joe Blaes, Editor

Every two years in the late winter or early spring, the world's largest dental meeting happens in Cologne, Germany. This year it happened in early March, and the weather was brutally cold. I arrived in a snowstorm that lasted all that day and into the next night. But the storm did not prevent the PennWell dental team from finding a favorite restaurant and Cologne's own Kolsch beer. I tried the pork knuckle (a featured dinner) for the first time, and it was delicious. I slept well that first night.

The International Dental Show (IDS) does not have any CE courses like we have at the U.S. dental meetings. The IDS is all about the exhibit floor, which is huge. Think of the largest dental meeting exhibit floor you've ever seen and multiply that space five or six times, and you'll get an idea of the size of the IDS. It's not uncommon for a large company to have an exhibit space that measures 120 by 60 feet. Inside the booth there can be as many as 25 to 30 salespeople explaining their products. While you're in the booth, you can stop by the bar (yes, inside the booth) and order fresh coffee, wine, or beer and/or some food.

When you go to the IDS, you should always bring your most comfortable shoes because you're walking on concrete floors all the time. At most of the booth spaces, you step up from the aisle into the booth that has plush carpet, and lighting that best shows off what's being sold. It's a very exciting place to be. Nearly everyone speaks English, so language is not a problem.

The 2013 IDS attracted more than 2,100 exhibitors and 125,000 people to Cologne for the five-day meeting. The logistics of a meeting of this size are staggering, but it all happened like a well-oiled machine. Early on Wednesday morning, I sat in a press conference called by Sirona. I listened as Jeffrey Slovin, the president and CEO of Sirona, presented the 25 new products that the company launched at the IDS meeting. The Sirona booth was huge and very busy because everyone wanted to learn about all the new products and innovations being launched at this meeting. As Dr. Paul Feuerstein (who also attended the meeting) notes in his DE Technology column, you will not see many of these new products as many of them must receive FDA approval before being launched in the United States.

As I walked through the many halls of exhibits, I was amazed by the innovations designed to make dentistry faster, better, and easier for us as dentists, but also to give our patients the best care possible and to help them keep their teeth for the rest of their lives.

In one hall, I found an entire aisle loaded with implant companies featuring names and products I'd never heard of, and each one claiming to be the best. It was impossible to stop at every booth to hear their stories. The same was true of CAD/CAM -- many innovative companies are entering a market that will explode with new products. Many companies have introduced innovative 3-D radiography products that we will see as they receive FDA approval. You can be sure that Dental Economics, your trusted source of information, will keep you up to date on the latest advances in the dental industry.

Kevin Henry, managing editor for DE and the editor of our outstanding web portal (, did an amazing job at the IDS. He was up early every morning taking videos of people and products. These were edited in the afternoon and posted that night so they would be on the website the next morning. Great job, Kevin! Be sure to visit to see these videos and the many other great things on the site.

If you have the opportunity, attend the next International Dental Show in Cologne, slated for March 10-14, 2015. You'll see a great show, have the chance to enjoy a cold Kolsch, and try the pork knuckle. Let me know if you need any tips on what to see or where to go.

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor
email: [email protected]

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