Dr Luisa Neo
Honorary General Secretary
Association of Orthodontists (Singapore)
The Association of Orthodontists (Singapore) Congress (AOSC) 2021 was our first-ever fully digital edition. Held from the 2nd to the 11th of July, the biannual event brought in a total of 950 registrants from all around the world. This year was a particularly meaningful occasion as it coincided with the 30th anniversary of the AOS.
The conference featured an exciting scientific programme of 20 world-renowned speakers over 19 sessions and explored the field of orthodontics in light of the challenges the pandemic has brought about. The full programme of lectures ran over three days and recordings of the sessions were available thereafter for an additional week for on-demand viewing.
Delegates participated in “live” presentations by Prof. Nikhilesh Vaid, Prof. Kau Chung How and Prof. Kelvin Foong, and were engaged in the Q&A session that was conducted after the opening night lectures. The third day of the conference featured a thought-provoking “live” dialogue session by six of our very accomplished speakers on the “Demise of The Bracket – A Looming Certainty?”. Chaired by Professors Kau Chung How and Chng Chai Kiat, the expert panel of Drs Greg Huang, Nikhilesh Vaid, Tommaso Castroflorio, Chris Chang and Simon Graf, captivated the audience with their lively discussion that touched on issues such as the current popularity of aligners, direct-to-consumer aligners and spoke about the environmental impact of them. They offered their honest professional opinion, provided updates on what was happening on their side of the world and shared their extensive clinical experience with one and all.
The AOSC 2021 digital exhibition featured 16 exhibitors and 100 represented brands. Leading companies showcased their latest innovations and solutions for the orthodontic sector and offered exclusive promotions to all trade visitors. A total of 19 posters were accepted from around the world for our scientific poster competition and we congratulate the winners and appreciate all participants for sharing their outstanding research with us.
The AOSC 2021’s virtual run saw a total of 165 sign ups, with participants lacing up their running shoes to get moving and challenge themselves to compete in the individual and/or team category. This highly competitive race started a week earlier on the 25th of June with many running and walking enthusiasts sharing pictures and statistics from their hard-earned workout on the digital platform and their social media. Together, we achieved an impressive mileage of almost 1500 kilometres!
Our social events have always been a huge part of the past AOSC editions and despite moving online, we strived to continue engaging delegates with our specially curated social programmes: FOOD WARS and B.Y.O Experience.
Competing teams from around the region showcased their culinary skills in our very own virtual cook off - FOOD WARS. Participants could root for their favourite team and cast their votes while watching these aspiring Master Chefs cook up a storm via a live stream. It was certainly not an easy feat trying to impress the highly critical judges and likewise, the judges themselves too, had a difficult time picking just one of the four teams to walk away with the prize. As such, the top spot had to go to two teams – Team Thailand Master Chef 2021 and Team Philippines APO Master Foodies! Congratulations and well done to all!
The B.Y.O experience was an interactive sharing session by 7 knowledgeable speakers that covered 4 interest groups – BYO Desserts, BYO Pets, BYO Lifestyle and BYO Drink. Members of the audience watched presentations of their interest group before proceeding to move into smaller breakout rooms for an in-depth discussion on their chosen topic.
This ranged from learning the secrets of baking Hong Kong style buns, to discovering mindful awareness through meditation. Through the course of the evening, hearty laughter, jokes and wide smiles were filled across the screens of all who attended, and everyone had walked away that night, armed some new-found knowledge unrelated to purely just orthodontics.
From 17th to 19th February 2023, AOSC will return to its physical format at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. While we are humbled and heartened to have received so many encouraging words and positive feedback on the success of our digital edition this year, we are absolutely thrilled and are looking forward to finally be able to gather in person and interact with our local and international orthodontic community at the AOSC 2023. We hope to see you there!