Dental Tribune Latin America

“AMIC in Top 10 of Largest Expos Worldwide”

By Javier M. de Pisón, Dental Tribune Latin America
May 07, 2010

MEXICO CITY, Mexico: The president of Mexico's largest dental expo, Ayub Safar Boueri, said to Dental Tribune Hispanic and Latin America that total attendance to the recent 53rd AMIC Dental fair reached 35,000 people, which places this twice a year event among "the 10th largest dental expos in the world." Over 100 Mexican and international companies had booths at the expo.  

The Mexican Dental Industry and Trade Association (AMIC Dental) spared no efforts since Safar took over the expo two years ago, forming strategic alliances with other industry groups, dental associations, and dental colleges with national reach. One of the main goals of AMIC is not only to provide a commercially sucessfull expo, which it has already achieved, but to gain more international recognition by organizing with the Mexican Dental Association (ADM) the FDI World Dental Congress in Mexico City in 2011.

"We have improved all aspects of dentistry in our country and are now in a very strong position," Safar said. "For many years, CIOSP in São Paulo, Brazil was one of the largest expos in the Americas, but today through agreements with universities such as UNAM Dental School, ADM, and the public health sector, AMIC is one of the 10th largest dental expos in the world, and that's very important nationally and internationally."

A clear sign of this new importance is that attending the opening ceremony of AMIC were the president of ADM, Dr. Jaime Edelson, and the dean of UNAM Dental School, Dr. Javier de la Fuente, as well as the top government oral health officials for Mexico at the federal level, Dr. Heriberto Vera Hermosillo, and for Mexico City, Dr. Armando Ahued Ortega.

Partnership with UNAM
UNAM ran a three-day long, high-quality scientific congress with internationally renowned researchers such as doctors Mariano Sanz (Spain), Stephen Flint (Ireland), Miriam Rossi (Canada), Marcelo Baum (Brazil) or Olga Lucía (Colombia), among others.

In addition to top lecturers, the expo reached an agreement with UNAM by which dentists from the university offered free dental care treatment to the most needy population at the AMIC expo through a mobile unit. The expo effort is part of a larger initiative involving 300 UNAM dentists that will provide free treament throughout Mexico City's poorest neighborhoods.

"It is very important for us to offer free care to a large part of the Mexican population through this agreement with UNAM," Safar said. "And we provided the Secretary of Health with two mobile units, fully equiped with X-rays and dental chairs, that the university will use later on to care for the poorest in the city."

The April 28 - May 2nd AMIC Dental expo had noticeably improved from past editions, from the large, modern booths and ample walking corridors, to the security, from the ability to print badges online to the high quality of the scientific lectures.

Dr. Mariano Sanz for instance is one of the top researchers and lecturers in Periodontics worldwide, dentistry dean of Universidad Complutense, Spain's most prestigious dental school, and an expert in dental curricula who has lead a recent effort called PLACEO to unify dental studies throughout Latin America.

2011 FDI World Congress
Safar pointed out as well that AMIC has been instrumental in bringing the FDI World Dental Congress to Mexico City in 2011.

"The FDI never has two events, one after the other, in the same continent," he said. "To have the world congress in Mexico City, right after Salvador Bahia, Brazil in 2010, is special and the reason is that FDI trusts the organizational and financial abilities of AMIC Dental."

The expo president said the FDI World Congress in Mexico is the result of the international recognition AMIC has gained as "a member of the International Dental Manufacturers (IDM), the cooperation we have shown and the good relations we have with all dentistry in our country."

"It's very important for us to show that Mexico is quite different from other countries", Safar said, "because here the industry, represented by AMIC Dental, has the power to support oral health in the country."

According to official data, the Mexican dental market grew 10% in 2009 - 2010, and the dental industry represents 2.1% of Mexico's Gross Domestic Product. In a country with over 80,000 practicing dentists, every year 4,000 dental graduates join the professional sector.

Asked about why AMIC organizes two expos per year, Safar said the growth of the dental market in Mexico makes it necessary. "The twice a year expo allows Mexican dentists to purchase supplies for a six-month period at prices they cannot get regularly," he explained.

He further pointed out that Mexico is the second largest consumer worldwide of artificially sweetened soft drinks, which is in part responsible for the 90% caries index in Mexico's population, as well as a high prevalence of diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

"We need to educate our people, which is why in all of our communications we emphasize brushing the teeth regularly, visting the dentist twice a year, and a healthy diet, because most of these problems start in the mouth," added Safar.

New Term for Safar
The initiatives of the new AMIC administration have been fast and effective for the commercial, educational and public health sectors. A sign of the industry's approval is that AMIC has recently changed its bylaws, extending the presidential term from two to four years, which will allow Safar to be re-elected to a new four-year term.

The initiative will provide AMIC with continuity of its policies to strenghten the dental industry. Safar said the finances of the group are transparent and strong, to the point that we "have paid for our next event" he said, referring to the November 3 - 7, 2010 AMIC expo, something "which never happened before."

Ayub explained that AMIC has not increased dues to their members, but nevertheless has been able to accomplish much more than past administrations in all aspects.

AMIC organizes two expos per year, one in May and one in November. UNAM is in charge of the scientific congress in May, while in November the Mexican Dental Association and the Mexico City Dental Association (ADDF) alternate. The scientific congress at the upcoming November expo will be organized by ADDF.

Dental Tribune Latin America will broadcast lectures online from the expo floor at the November 2010 AMIC through its Dental Tribune Study Club.

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