Touring the halls of the 2009 IDS

I have just returned from a two-week trip that included stops in Cologne, Germany; Bienne, Switzerland; Hot Springs, Ark.

I have just returned from a two-week trip that included stops in Cologne, Germany; Bienne, Switzerland; Hot Springs, Ark.; and Omaha, Neb. I was in Cologne to attend the International Dental Show (IDS). This meeting is the largest dental show in the world and is held every other year.

The IDS is an exhibition show, so there are no continuing-education lectures to attend. The show spreads over six “halls.” The booths of some of the large companies take up an incredible amount of space. It is not unusual for these booths to contain a large area that serves food and drinks to the attendees.

Picture an exhibit area that is easily three to four times the size of the ADA or Chicago Midwinter meetings, and you will begin to imagine the size of the IDS. On certain days, you notice that the spaces are very crowded, and then you hear the attendance announced at more than 100,000 people. The people attending this show come from all over the world. Now you can begin to understand the incredible size of this meeting, but it is hard to really imagine until you actually attend it.

This year's meeting saw a number of new products launched, and my managing editor, Kevin Henry, and I have picked the best to be highlighted in the April 14 edition of DE “Expert Tips & Tricks” e-newsletter. If you are not familiar with this e-newsletter, it is posted on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month on the Dental Economics® Web site.

Check it out for some really great information! Each one is a quick read and contains something you can use right away. To receive a copy of the April 14 e-newsletter, send an e-mail to DEtips@pennwell.com.

Four years ago at the IDS, we saw some companies with innovative CAD/CAM machines and a few implant companies. This year, everybody has CAD/CAMs and implants — quite a change from four years ago! The Sirona booth really caught my eye because of the new “Sirona Connect,” which combines the software of the Galileos Cone Beam and the CEREC AC to improve treatment-planning for implants.

I also found time to spend with friends at the local establishments for one of the city's special Kolsch beers, served in a five-ounce glass. This beer is only available in Cologne because it is naturally fermented in wooden barrels that are individually tapped and poured without gas. The beer is very refreshing after a day of walking the exhibit floors!

Cologne also has many fine restaurants serving great German sausages and several pork dishes that kept our energy up. It was a good thing that we were all walking so much during the day!


I also had the opportunity to attend a new seminar at the new Scottsdale Center, presented by Doug Young and Imtiaz Mangi. The “Practice Harmony” course was aimed at dentists who are considering remodeling an existing office, building out a leased space, or building a stand-alone office. This course was much more than looking at office plans and equipment. During the two-day seminar, Mr. Mangi told the audience to remember that we are not working in the “economy,” we are working in the dental economy, and it is quite different! Mr. Young, who is a regular contributor to DE, spoke on developing and realizing our vision of our preferred future. Then, he said, build the new facilty to make this vision come alive. This seminar will be offered again in September at the Scottsdale Center, and I would heartily recommend it. You will not be disappointed!


I ended the trip with an all-day speaking engagement at the Arkansas State Meeting in Hot Springs. The weather was beautiful, but the crowd of about 300 stayed with me until the end. They asked lots of great questions! That night, I flew to the Nebraska State Meeting in Omaha. I was greeted by a great group of dentists who displayed lots of interaction and interest in the products I was presenting. I think that I really enjoy these small meetings more than the large ones. I can get much more one-on-one. Thanks to Arkansas and Nebraska for the great hospitality!


I recently became aware of a very interesting non-profit organization called “Climb for a Cause.” In essence, CFAC helps dental practices follow Ben Franklin's sage advice to “do well by doing good.” Each year, CFAC organizes an event that involves dental practitioners and other industry members trekking through a spectacular mountainous area and raising money to provide needed dental care in the process. This year's event will take place during Labor Day weekend at the world-famous Half Dome in Yosemite Valley. There are many ways to participate. To learn more, visit www.climbforacause.org, or stay tuned to future issues of Dental Economics®.

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — e-mail: joeb@pennwell.com
Toll-free phone number: (866) 274-4500

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