Hinman Dental Meeting Day Two

25 03 2011

Packed lecture halls and full hands-on courses were the norm as things got even busier during the second day of the 99th annual Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta. The mix of topics continued to span the dental team with sessions aimed at providing intricate technique details for clinicians, business tips for running the practice, lifestyle tips for everyone and even a course on how humor can be helpful in a practice.

In his session on implant overdentures, Dr. Joseph Massad engaged in a lively discussion with the attendees about his techniques for properly capturing the impression of both edentulous, partially-edentualous and post-surgical implant patients. He stressed that obtaining the correct impression was important for optimal outcomes and showed how to use a firm impression material as a quick way to generate a custom impression tray. Between videos of his techniques, Dr. Massad paused his lecture to answer questions from the audience and stressed the importance of communicating every detail of a case to the lab so the implant-retained restorations will fit the implants perfectly.

While that session was a lively lecture, the real action at the Hinman Meeting was going on in the numerous hands-on courses. Clinicians interested in improving their photography skills had the chance to test out dental photography with digital SLR cameras during a session led by Dr. Martin Goldstein. While that sesssion gave a small number of attendees hands on opportunities, his lecture later in the day filled a hall with an audience eager to learn about how digital photography can help build a practice. Dr. Goldstein explained that digital images are ideal because they can be easily stored, edited, shared with colleagues and used in a variety of ways, including to show patients simulated results of cosmetic treatments.

“When I’m talking about cosmetics with a patient, the days of handing them a mirror are over,” he said.

The massive exhibit hall at the Hinman Meeting was filled with dental companies big and small showing off their latest products, but the room was set up to offer much more. Five classrooms around the edges of the room featured hands-on courses, and windows around the room attracted people not in the classes to stop and take a peak in. Dr. Alfred Wyatt, Jr. led a session on lasers that gave participants 15 minutes to test out a laser from one company before switching tables so they could try a different model. Lasers from KaVo, Sirona, AMD Lasers, Biolase, DenMat, Discus, Ivoclar Vivadent, Lares Research, Millenium Dental Sytsems and GPT dental were on hand. Dr. Wyatt said this was one of the best ways for clinicians interested in adding a laser to find the one that would meet their needs and an opportunity he wished he could have taken advantage of back before he purchased his first laser.

Another hands on course drawing packed crowds was a series of sessions on preventive maintenance for dental equipment and technology. This session featured a series of small rooms each with a different type of equipment on display. The dentists and staff taking part in the trainings shifted rooms every so often while learning about caring for small equipment such as handpieces; treatment room equipment and delivery systems; mechanical systems; sterilization equipment; and x-ray equipment.

Another popular area off to the side of the trade show floor was the hands-on new products workshop featuring 18 products selected by Dr. Joseph Blaes, who chose items he felt were innovative and could be helpful to a practice. On display was VOCO America’s GrandioSO; GC America’s G-aenial; DENTSPLY Midwest’s ATC handpiece; Dux Dental’s Bib EZE; AMD Lasers’ Picaso; SciCan’s OPTIM 33 wipes; LED Dental’s VELScope VX; Philips Sonicare toothbrushes; Brasseler USA’s ET 3000; Bein Air’s Optima; CAESY 10 patient education; Discus Dental’s Zen cordless prophy; Premier Dental’s Traxodent; CarieScan; GoldenMisch’s Physics Forceps; Pelton & Crane’s Helios light and Septodont’s Biodentine.

Back in the classrooms, Dr. David Meinz was entertaining and packed house with a presentation about the keys to living a long life. He showed clips from news coverage of centenarians and explained the common factors leading to long and healthy lives, including mental and emotional engagement, friendship, eating healthy foods, exercise and activity. He explained that these lessons were things clinicians can take back to both their personal and professional lives by working messages about healthy living into their communications with patients.

“You can be in the health promotion business. It doesn’t have to take you any time at all to do that,” he said.

In a far less upbeat, but no less interesting presentation, Dr. Anthony Cardoza spoke about the roll dental professionals can play in dealing with a the health response to a major disaster or terror attack. Thus far Illinois and California have passed laws allowing such participation and Congress has a law on the topic through the House and on to the Senate. Dr. Cardoza said dentists, hygienists and dental assistants could all be vital parts of their community’s response by helping to triage patients, administer vaccinations and in other tasks, all with minimal training. While dentist may often be overlooked by other medical professionals, Dr. Cardoza said they could be of great importance during a disaster response and thus should be ready to put their skills and training to use.

Stepping away from the non-stop practice management software trainings she was presenting throughout the weekend, consultant Laci Phillips gave a Friday afternoon presentation about office technology and how it can help a dental practice be more efficient. With a nice dose of humor and back and forth with her audience, Phillips explained the value of e-services that can automatically verify patient insurance details, as well as recommended several scanners to help practices convert paper files to digital formats. She said practices will all be paperless eventually, but she does not believe the federal mandate will be the impetus for the change.

“What I do see is state laws and insurance companies taking us there,” she said.

As the second day of the meeting wound down, the social events around the education were getting ready to pick up. The final day of the event on Saturday was planned with plenty more interesting speakers and a few interesting touches such as a reception with food and drinks on the trade show floor Saturday afternoon, and even organizers said they were excited about how the 2011 Hinman Meeting has been going.

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