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Trip to ADA annual meeting proves invaluable for Kansas dental team

April 28, 2015

By Jean Williams

Manhattan, Kan.—From topics covering management of elderly patients to an introduction to various lasers, Downtown Dental Group got a lot of mileage from the continuing education courses at ADA 2014 when the entire practice traveled to San Antonio for the ADA annual meeting last fall.
"We assembled our staff before we went and tried to identify areas within the practice where we could leverage or utilize the courses to the benefit of the practice," said Downtown Dental Group's Dr. Daniel Winter.
"It's the first time we've taken the entire staff on more than just an afternoon or weekend meeting. We started talking about it long in advance. For our staff, the way we interacted together was immeasurable."

Four hygienists, four assistants, three front staff and two dentists attended the conference. The idea behind the group participation was that they all could learn a thing or two, separately and together, through the array of CE courses offered.
"I individually took courses that were of interest to bettering the practice, specifically implant prosthetic design and use," Dr. Winter said. "We also completed a course covering the topic of dental lasers."

Technical teamwork: Downtown Dental Group hygienists, from left, Kendra Metzger, Kylie Moore and Katrina Mondero try lasers during a CE course they took together at ADA 2014.
The dental practice's hygienists collectively took courses that addressed the habits of successful dental hygiene teams, dental lasers (which the practice was considering adding), geriatric oral health and treating new patients.
Hygienist Kendra Metzger appreciated the knowledge reinforcement some of the CE courses provided. "I've been a hygienist almost eight years now, so it's good to go to those courses and get a really good refresher and reinforce what you were taught in school," she said. "It's a great way to continue to learn together as an office."
Hygienist Kylie Moore mostly appreciated the lasers course that the hygienists took together. "I just graduated in May," she said. "I was excited to go to the conference. We didn't learn much about lasers in school, and so I was excited to go there and learn more about them and try them out."
Hygienist Katrina Mondero took an interest in the topic of management of older patients, explored in the course Oral Health for the Prime of Life. "It can be challenging to manage elderly patients," she said. "This course provided a lot of great ideas for us as providers to better communicate with our elderly patients to help them achieve optimal oral health. I took that course to be a better hygienist for my geriatric patients."
The exhibit hall also impressed Ms. Mondero, who said the experience changed how they ordered products. "I loved the exhibit hall because everything was hands-on there," she said. "So if there was a product that you wanted to see that you can't get a rep to come to your office for, or you'd wanted to sit in a chair, they had absolutely everything there—things that you didn't even know existed. The exhibit hall brought a lot of really good information for us, too."

"It was overall a good experience," Dr. Winter said. "We have a pretty discerning staff when it comes to their continuing education experience."
Registration for ADA 2015 opens in May. This year, the annual meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. from November 5-10. For a list of CE courses planned, visit Search for #ADADC on Twitter and Facebook for more on ADA 2015.