EA4SD’s high performance Conference

EA4SD’s conference in Edinburgh was a unique opportunity to gain insights from leading presenters

12 February, 2024 / indepth
 Will Peakin    Jason Kimmings

Delivered in partnership with Clyde Munro, the conference brought together more than 100 sports dentists from more than 15 countries across Europe. The theme of the conference was ‘Sports Dentistry meets Sports Medicine’. This theme was demonstrated throughout the conference with multiple sports medicine and sports dentist speakers. 

After a presentation on the EA4SD formation and development over the last 10 years by EA4SD
co-founder Thanos Stamos, and Scottish Rugby sports medicine legend James Robson presented on his experiences and how he has helped develop sports dentistry support in Scottish Rugby. Presenting to a room full of dentists on his birthday demonstrated James’s passion for collaborating to ensure his athletes have the best support possible.

Niall Elliott, Head of Sports Medicine at the Scottish Institute of Sport, and Susie Harkness, Special Care Dentist, presented on the challenges of para-athletes and highlighted the need for more knowledge and support when working with this group of athletes.

the conference brought together more than 100 sports dentists from more than 15 countries across Europe

In the afternoon on day one of the conference Tomás Appleton, dentist and captain of the Portugal Rugby Team, explained how he has been able to balance successful careers both on and off the pitch. He explained how important and special the success of the Portugal Rugby Team at the Rugby World Cup was. EA4SD co-founder and Sports dentist to the French soccer team Sophie Cantamessa rounded the day one presentations demonstrating the oral health needs of elite athletes at the top of their sport. 

The conference dinner and match that evening was a great occasion. It involved a pre-match hospitality dinner and post-match pies, with ex-Scotland Rugby and current Scotland cricketer Hugo Southwell being host for the event. Injured Scotland Rugby player Hamish Watson and Tomás Appleton provided some pre-match discussion. Then after watching a thrilling match between Edinburgh and the Italian rugby tean Benetton, Scotland Rugby Captain Jamie Ritchie and Scotland player Grant Gilhurst provided some post-match analysis.

Day two of the conference kicked off with chairman of the conference and EA4SD committee member John Haughey presenting on the aspects of performance dentistry. This was followed by EA4SD president Marc Engels-Deutsch explaining the importance of apical infection in root filled and non-root filled teeth and the impact on athletic performance. 

Fresh from being the pitch-side lead medic at the match the night before, Mike Dunlop, team doctor for Edinburgh Rugby, presented on intelligent mouthguards (iMGs) and their use in sport. He explained how iMGs may become commonplace in sport and the impact that would have on a dentist providing them to their patients. He also explained the new rule change by World Rugby mandating iMGs at elite level from this year. 

Other highlights of the conference included presentations from current Scotland Cricketer and sports dentist Umair Mohammed on attitudes on collaboration between sports dentists and the athlete medical team. Dr Peter Fine presented on the importance of screening of athletes and explained the current oral health status of elite soccer players in the UK based on his recent research.

The conference was completed by a presentation from Scottish Rugby Sport Dentist Fiona Davidson who presented her experiences as a Sports Dentist and explained how she had developed a sports dentist programme in Scottish Rugby over the years. A discussion followed between Mike Dunlop, Edinburgh Rugby’s doctor, and Fiona Davidson on how sports dentistry has been integrated into the medical support of Edinburgh Rugby players.

The conference, supported by Clyde Munro, Wrights Dental, DD Group and Haleon, provided a unique opportunity to gain insights from presenters not commonly heard at dental conferences and left attendees with a passion for developing sports dentistry in their area.

Building on the success of Edinburgh, the next EA4SD conference has been pencilled in for Friday 21 and Saturday 22 November 2025 in Germany. Keep an eye out for updates on the EA4SD website, and the EA4SD social media pages. 

Pictures: Jason Kimmings

Tags: Conference / dental / EA4SD / Europe / event / MurayField / rugby / scottish / Sports

Categories: Feature / Magazine

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