Making friends in Tennessee

I attended the annual meeting of the Tennessee Dental Association in Nashville in early May. The outgoing president, Dr. Matt Gorham Jr. is a dear friend of mine going all the way back to dental school and two years in the Navy. In many states, the annual state meeting has become a poorly attended, inadeqately funded attempt to bring dentists together.

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor

e-mail: joeb@pennwell.com

I attended the annual meeting of the Tennessee Dental Association in Nashville in early May. The outgoing president, Dr. Matt Gorham Jr. is a dear friend of mine going all the way back to dental school and two years in the Navy. In many states, the annual state meeting has become a poorly attended, inadeqately funded attempt to bring dentists together.

The Tennessee meeting was an excellent example of how to run a state meeting. A combination of a strong scientific program aimed at dentists and staff, a number of social functions for fun in the evening, a central location in a nice hotel, time off for the delegates to attend CE programs, a wonderful Saturday night party at the Ryman Auditorium that combined fun with a cause and wonderful southern hospitality made this an outstanding meeting.

All of this happened because of a strong team of volunteers who were determined to make this a great meeting. I have not been hosted this well at any meeting. My host, Dr. Don Lunn of Nashville, was always right there when I needed him. One of the nice perks of my job is the new friends who I meet wherever I go. Thanks, Don, for taking such good care of me. A highlight for me was the opening session, which was held as a breakfast meeting at 7:15 a.m. More than 400 people gathered together for a combination of fun and business that left everyone with a positive feeling about our profession. If you want the formula for improving your state meeting, call the folks at the Tennessee Dental Association.

The more I hear Dr. Tim Rose, our ADA president, speak, the more I want to hear. It seems to me that he has a good grasp on the opportunities facing our profession. The problem is that he only has one year to get his programs implemented. Hopefully, he will be successful.

I have been reading and hearing a great deal about "Evidenced Based Dentistry" lately. It is a difficult issue to understand, because each individual or group seems to be able to bend the definition or the application to show a benefit to the profession. I am not sure where the truth lies in this concept. Each group seems to have its own "truth."

The "evil insurance empire" (Dr. Bill Dickerson`s quote) seems to favor the adoption of EBD, and this scares me even though I don`t accept insurance in my practice. They see it as a way to control the dentist and what he produces. I would like to hear what you think about this new concept. What do you know about it? Do you see it as a positive influence on dentistry or a negative one? Have you even heard of it? What does Delta think about it? What is the official ADA position on EBD? Would you like to learn more about it? Let me hear from you.

I would also like to call your attention to the announcement of Dental Economics` Cosmetic Dentistry 2000. The event will be hosted in Las Vegas on February 4th and 5th, 2000, at the beautiful Alexis Park Hotel and Resort. Based on the many positive comments about our cosmetic seminar this year, we are moving to a new location and will be including many more opportunities for you to learn how to position your practice to do more cosmetic dentistry. Our program will include some of the best and most informative speakers available, including Dr. Bill Blatchford, Dr. Nate Booth, Dr. Bill Dickerson, Dr. Larry Emmott, Dr. Paul Homoly, Dr. Roger Levin, Bob Macario, and Dr. Joe Massad.

In collaboration with RDH magazine, we have developed a special program on the role of hygienists in the cosmetic practice. So don`t be surprised if your hygienist expresses interest in attending. We also have a number of special programs that will improve your clinical skills as well. We have limited the number of attendees for this program, so that you will have the opportunity to meet with the speakers one-on-one.

A smaller meeting also gives you the opportunity to network with other offices. Networking has always been a highlight of any meeting that I attend. So get your registration in early! Don`t miss out on this great show.

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