SmileCon offers place for new dentists

ADA New Dentist Committee member Daryn Lu, D.D.S., is ready for the in-person experience offered by SmileCon and the surprises the revamped annual meeting has in store.

SmileCon logo"When we think about dental meetings, we're all too familiar with the past year of staring at a computer with people shouting, ‘You're muted!’ It's almost like we miss the days of sitting in a room, chugging hotel coffee and anxiously waiting for the lecture to wrap up,” Dr. Lu said. “There's a lot to get excited about with SmileCon — a next-generation meeting designed from the ground up, solely focused on the attendee experience. We've all missed being together, building connections and leveling up our dental knowledge. I'm looking forward to everyone experiencing all the surprises SmileCon will bring.”

New dentists will have a place at SmileCon, to be held Oct. 11-13 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, where they can share their dental journey with others who are new to the profession and pave their own way with support from the New Dentist Committee, who will be present at the meeting to engage with new dentists who attend.

The New Dentist Reception will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Eyecandy Sound Lounge at Mandalay Bay. The reception is included in the meeting’s Platinum Smile Pass and costs $30 in advance or $40 on-site for Smile Pass and Dental Central Pass holders.

Photo of Dr. Lu
Dr. Lu
Dental Central — SmileCon’s reinvented exhibit hall — will also offer resources to help new dentists take time for a little self-care as they aim to stay centered, develop healthy habits and be their best selves emotionally and physically. The New Dentist Committee is also planning other programming focused on mental health and wellness.

"We are working on an engaging experience on-site that will encourage people to talk about mental health but in a fun and unique way,” said Tera D. Lavick, director of the New Dentist Committee.  

During the opening session at SmileCon, the committee will honor this year’s winners of the ADA 10 Under 10 Awards, which recognize 10 new dentists who have demonstrated excellence early in their careers.

Hosted by Dr. Lu, the opening session will take place from 8-9:30 a.m. Oct. 11 and celebrate the accomplishments of the dental community during what has been a difficult year by honoring the winners of other awards as well, including the Distinguished Service Award, Gold Medal Award and Humanitarian Award. The keynote speaker is Michelle Poler, a social entrepreneur whose work has been featured on the “Today” show, CBS and CNN.

For the first time, the annual meeting will also include a closing session from 3:45-5 p.m. Oct. 13. The keynote speaker will be announced at a later date. To demonstrate how the ADA drives dentistry forward as one community with different voices and journeys, attendees will be able to share their stories in a video testimonial booth at the meeting to be featured during the closing session.

The sessions will offer a farewell to outgoing ADA Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, D.M.D., and welcome new Executive Director Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S.

SmileCon registration opened June 23. To take advantage of advance rates, register by 5 p.m. CDT Sept. 30. Standard registration rates will then apply until Oct. 13.

The meeting offers four registration passes: Smile Pass, Platinum Smile Pass, Dental Central Pass and Virtual Pass.

For member dentists, advance registration costs $499 for the Smile Pass, $3,499 for the Platinum Smile Pass, $149 for the Dental Central Pass and $199 for the Virtual Pass. For dental students, advance registration costs $299 for the Smile Pass, $1,999 for the Platinum Smile Pass, $25 for the Dental Central Pass and $25 for the Virtual Pass.

To learn more about SmileCon or to register, visit