Get the training!

Plenty of opportunities exist for dentists and their staffs to improve their current skills and learn new ones, says Dr. Mike Maroon. He lists some of his favorites.

Th 9102decet
Th 9102decet
Click here to enlarge image

It's no secret that most patients today want cosmetic services. It is estimated that in 1999, $50 billion was spent on dentistry and more than 50 percent of that sum was for cosmetic services. Projections indicate that by the year 2005, more than $90 billion will be spent on dentistry, with close to 80 percent of that devoted to cosmetic services. With these kinds of projections, the time has come for you to get the training!

Even if you believe that you already know how to provide cosmetic dentistry, there is always something to learn. The best cosmetic dentists are constantly pushing themselves and exploring new materials to find a better way to satisfy their patients. They are constantly evolving and so should you. Here are some simple ideas to assist you in finding the correct training for you and your entire team.

One-day lecture programs

These programs are a good way to pique your interest or get a quick refresher. If you have a local, state, or national dental society meeting in your area, attend one of the myriad of cosmetic dentistry programs and pay attention to what services arouse your interest. This will assist you on the next phase of your journey. If you're already providing cosmetic services, many of these one-day programs are a great way to reinforce and refresh the information that you've learned.

Two- or three-day meetings

To further enhance your enthusiasm and knowledge and allow you the opportunity to view several different aspects of cosmetic dentistry, you should plan on attending a two- or three-day meeting that specifically focuses on cosmetic dentistry, practice management, and self-improvement.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • genR8TNext - www.genR8TNext.com - (877) 626-GENX (4369) - As a co-founder, I am obviously partial to this group of young, energetic, and progressive dentists who burst onto the dental scene in 1998. Meetings are held twice a year in resort locations (2001 programs include the brand-new JW Marriott Resort in Cancun, Mexico, from April 26-28, and the Hyatt Lake Las Vegas Resort in Henderson, Nev., from September 13-15). There's a nice mix of new and established speakers offering both lecture and participation programs, and there are social events where you can get to know the other attendees. This program is good for doctors, team members, dental technicians, spouses, and children.
  • The Richards Report Super Fall Seminar - www.madow.com - (800) 258-0060 - Brothers Rich, Dave, and Marshall Madow have developed a cult-like following for their wildly successful and incredibly zany three-day program held each fall at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Their program features some of the best practice-management and self-improvement speakers in the world. It's a unique mixture of education, fun, entertainment, and fellowship. This program is good for doctors, team members, spouses, and children.
  • Discus Dental's Super Seminar - www. discusdental.com - (800) 600-6748 - Dr. Bill Dorfman and the gang at Discus Dental have developed a terrific program held each spring at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. This program pulls together some of the finest clinicians, practice-management, and self-improvement speakers in the world. The program also includes social events to develop camaraderie and fellowship among attendees. This program is good for doctors, team members, spouses, and children.
  • The Profitable Dentist Spring Break Seminar - www.TheProfitableDentist.com - (800) DESTIN-7 - Dr. Woody Oakes' group created one of the original "Spring Break" three-day "edutainment" programs, and it just keeps getting better every year. With a wonderful blend of clinical, practice-management, and personal- and self-improvement lecture and participation programs, this meeting puts the "spring" back into "spring break." Held in beautiful Destin, Fla., each year, this program is good for doctors, team members, spouses, and children.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry - www.dentaleconomics .com - (888) 299-8062 - Dental Economics and RDH magazines are the hosts for this annual two-day conference in February in Las Vegas. The 2001 version was held on Feb. 8-9, while dates for the 2002 session have not been finalized. A unique blend of clinical and practice-management speakers fills the schedule. This program is good for doctors, team members, spouses, and children.
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Meeting - www.AACD.com - (800) 543-9220 - The AACD is the premier cosmetic dental organization in the world. This group includes most of the world's best cosmetic dentists, many of whom share their information at the annual meeting. From clinical tips to practice management for cosmetic dentistry - with both lecture and participation programs - this is the place to be each year to see what's hot and what's not in cosmetic dentistry. This year's conference is in Boston in the spring and is good for doctors, team members, dental technicians, spouses, and children.
  • American Society for Dental Aesthetics Meeting - www.asda.com - (212) 371-4575 - Dr. Irwin Smigel, the "father of cosmetic dentistry," began this group several years ago to allow members to share knowledge and information with one another. Meetings are held each year in a wonderful location and feature some of the finest clinicians in the world. This program is good for doctors, team members, dental technicians, spouses, and children.

Please note that this is just a partial listing of the myriad of meetings that are available. Remember, you absolutely must involve your dental team to truly benefit from any of these programs. They must be as well-educated and well-trained as you are to assist you in developing the practice style you want.

Live patient-treatment programs

Once you get motivated and see which direction you want to take, the next step will be to go to a hands-on program. There are "live-patient" (where you actually work on one of your own patients under the guidance of clinical instructors), "hands-on" (where you can play with the materials under the guidance of instructors), and "over-the-shoulder" programs (where you observe clinicians performing dentistry on one of their patients).

These are just a few of the many programs available:

  • LVI - The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies - www.lvilive.com - (888) 584-3237 - Dr. Bill Dickerson - along with co-directors Dr. Chris Pescatore and Dr. Michael Miyasaki - has developed an outstanding program in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Institute is the finest facility developed exclusively for the teaching of cosmetic and restorative dentistry, utilizing the principles of neuromuscular occlusion. The Institute also features a posterior program with Dr. Ron Jackson and co-director Dr. Steve Poss. The programs at LVI encompass all aspects of cosmetic dentistry and include items of interest for the entire dental team involved in patient care - doctors, team members, and dental technicians. Programs typically cover two weekends about three weeks apart. Lecture, participation, and preparation are on the first weekend, while additional lecture, participation, and delivery are on the second weekend. Personal clinical instructors are assigned to enhance the learning experience. The Full-Mouth Reconstruction program at LVI has been a very popular program that utilizes the principles of neuromuscular occlusion to reconstruct proper esthetics and function.
  • PAC~live - Pacific Aesthetic Continuum - www.paclive.com - (800) 616-1553 - Dr. David Hornbrook, Dr. Michael Koczarski, Dr. Mark Montgomery, and Dr. Bill Dorfman have developed the ultimate "live patient" hands-on experience at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. This is an incredible program that teaches doctors, team members, and dental technicians how to "synergize" their abilities to provide outstanding cosmetic dentistry utilizing the traditional principles of functional occlusion. The programs at PAC~live encompass all aspects of cosmetic dentistry and include programs for the entire dental team involved in patient care - doctors, team members, and dental technicians. Programs typically cover two weekends about three weeks apart. Lecture, participation, and preparation are on the first weekend, while additional lecture, participation, and delivery are on the second weekend. Personal clinical instructors are assigned to enhance the learning experience. The "Ultimate Synergy" Full Mouth Reconstruction program incorporates a third weekend where diagnosis, lecture, and participation are involved.
  • Aesthetic Advantage - (212) 794-9600 - Dr. Larry Rosenthal and Dr. Peter Rinaldi have developed a live-patient program that incorporates their tremendous knowledge of creating and designing smiles and interacting with patients. These programs are usually held in New York City or West Palm Beach, Fla. The programs encompass all aspects of cosmetic dentistry for doctors and team members. Programs typically cover two weekends about three weeks apart. Lecture, participation, and preparation are on the first weekend, while additional lecture, participation, and delivery are on the second weekend. Personal clinical instructors are assigned to enhance the learning experience.

Over-the-shoulder and hands-on experiences

These experiences allow you the opportunity to view "live patient" demonstrations and/or participate in hands-on courses in a laboratory or preclinical setting.

  • The Seattle Institute for Advanced Dental Studies with Dr. Frank Spear - www. SeattleInstitute.com - (888) 575-0370 - The Seattle Institute offers some wonderful programs on esthetic dentistry, occlusion, practice management, and laboratory techniques. Dr. Frank Spear has gained international recognition for his clinical excellence and ability to communicate the fine art of restorative dentistry.
  • Creating Restorative Excellence with Dr. John Kois - www.DrKois.com - In Tacoma, Wash., this also offers excellent over-the-shoulder programs on esthetic and restorative dentistry, occlusion, and practice management. Real knowledge and sound principles make this a "must" program.
  • Practical Clinical Courses with Dr. Gordon Christensen - www.pccdental.com - (888) 334-3200 - The most respected and followed leader in dentistry has developed an over-the-shoulder learning experience at the CRA facility in Provo, Utah. While you're looking into these programs, be sure to visit with Dr. Christensen once every other year at his one-day

    Programs are also available at most of the dental schools and universities in the United States. Please check with your local school to see if any of these programs appeal to you.

    I've tried to give you just a few of the wonderful programs that are available to get you on your way to unlimited success. When you go to these meetings, please do yourself a favor by getting to know other attendees and sharing information. Many times I will enhance my experience by meeting and sharing with other doctors and team members. This has also allowed me to develop and maintain some pretty amazing friendships over the years and provided me with a wonderful resource network of professionals.

    Throughout your experiences in life, all you have to remember is one thing: The only person who has ever told you that you couldn't do anything in life is you! So, get the training and get going on your path to success.

More in Practice Management Software