ADA 2016 Celebrates Dentistry in Denver

Richard Gawel

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It’s time to pack your bags for Denver as ADA 2016 takes over the Colorado Convention Center, October 20 to October 24. The annual conference will offer continuing education with more than 300 continuing education (CE) courses, renowned speakers, networking opportunities, new products from 550 exhibitors, clinical demonstrations, and recreation. 

The Opening General Session kicks things off on Thursday, October 20 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. with dentists from across the country discussing their experiences and the profession. Also, Dr. Frank Andolino will be named the ADA Humanitarian of the Year, and Dr. Peter Dawson will receive the ADA Distinguished Service Award.

Andolino is the founder of Kageno, a nonprofit that operates community development projects in Kenya and Rawanda, helping more than 24,000 people achieve sustainability in the face of poverty, hunger, pollution, and disease. Kageno supports new business ventures, improved healthcare, educational opportunities, and a cleaner environment.

“As a privileged American, it is my responsibility to help others,” said Andolino, who also has worked with Health Volunteers Overseas, Covenant House, Special Olympics, and Habitat for Humanity, among other groups. “If we all played a small part in helping those less fortunate, this planet would be a substantially more balanced and healthy place for everyone.”

Dawson is known globally for his contributions to occlusion and restorative dentistry as well as for his concepts on the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular disorders. Also, he is a pioneer in developing and teaching principles of practice management. He is the founder of Florida’s Dawson Academy, educating doctors about the masticatory system, as well.

“Dr. Dawson has dedicated his adult life to teaching and helping dentists become the best that they can be. He still gets up every day thinking about how he can help dentists better understand and how he can make a point clearer,” said Joan Forrest, president and chief executive officer of the Dawson Academy. “Pete loves dentists and he loves dentistry.”

The ADA Distinguished Speaker Series will host Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, on Friday, October 21 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. She was an activist for the rights of girls to receive an education in Afghanistan when she was shot by the Taliban in 2012 at the age of 15. She now advocates on behalf of girls and young women around the world.

“Malala Yousafzai is one of the most iconic women of our time. Her life experiences and achievements within the first 2 decades of her life are profoundly inspiring,” said Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays, ADA president. “To hear her tell her story is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who attend ADA 2016.”

Women will drive the conversation elsewhere at the conference too. Taking Care of #1: An Interactive Women’s Panel, will examine the physical, emotional, and social issues involved with staying healthy while achieving fulfillment, balance, and success on Friday, October 21 at 1:30 p.m. The session will end in time for participants to attend the Distinguished Speaker Series.

Also, dentists who are just starting out in the profession can take part in the New Dentist Conference, with relevant topics and up to 6 CE hours per day for practitioners who are 10 years or fewer out of dental school. Plus, these attendees can relax and get to know each other at the New Dentist Reception, while 3 “Campfire Sessions” encourage more networking.

Professionals attending the Technology Expo will get to try out cutting-edge technologies as they learn how to incorporate these new tools into their practices. It will feature the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards, with 14 products getting the spotlight. Also, there will be 14 free courses on new technology, each available for one hour of CE credit.

Dentists who want to learn more about digital dentistry can check out the free Workshop on CAD/CAM Prep Guidelines, which will be offered 16 different times throughout the conference. It will explore how to develop a workflow to facilitate CAD/CAM crown preparation, the influence between abutment design and the fit of CAD/CAM crowns, and the importance of correct data collection and crown manufacturing.

Other CE opportunities will cover techniques and technologies, as well as financing, marketing, management, careers, and personal wellness. Additional tracks will focus on evidence-based dentistry, student clinician research, live patient courses, hands-on cadaver workshops, dental sleep medicine, CBCT and 3-D imaging, and dental lasers.

Dentists who want to give back to those in need around the world can attend a pair of sessions on international volunteering on Thursday, October 20, led by dentists who have gone abroad to treat underserved populations. For a more immediate opportunity, attendees register as a potential bone marrow donor with DKMS We Delete Blood Cancer or take part in a “60-second service project” assembling personal hygiene kits for kids in need.

“We invite you to stop by the Alliance booth in the exhibit hall, put together a kit, and join us as we give back to those in need in Denver. Such a small time commitment ensures that everyone who wants to can help,” said Susan Gardner, president of the Alliance of the ADA. “Even one kit can make a difference, since volunteers collective efforts really add up.”

With all this going on, attendees will get to have fun, too. The Mountain Mixer will expose guests to Denver’s diverse culture through a variety of activities and music, plus food and beverages, on Thursday, October 20 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Of course, the city outside the exhibit hall is a thriving destination full of discoveries for repeat visitors and new arrivals alike.

Finally, those who want to get involved with the ADA itself can take part in the House of Delegates. Committees on legislation, governance, membership, education, science, benefits, practice, budgeting, business, and administration all will conduct meetings. Credentialed delegates also can vote in elections for contested offices. 

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