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    The 2017 innovator profiles

    How these dental companies are pushing dentistry forward—and helping dentists, dental teams and patients along the way.


    “Our mantra has always been to improve upon last year’s meeting”

    Chicago Dental Society logoQ: How has the landscape changed from last year to this for the dental industry? How does the Chicago Dental Society make sure the Midwinter Meeting stays vital for a changing world?

    A: The landscape of the dental industry is always changing and this year is no exception. The changes that occur year-to-year are usually more or less subtle. It seems to me that change in the dental industry is more often a metamorphosis—an evolution. An evolution of change is important because change not only affects the dental industry but more importantly, it affects how dentistry is practiced. One of the reasons why the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting stays vital in a changing world is because we attract innovative exhibitors that are on the cutting edge of the dental trade. Our exhibitors want to showcase the newest and most advanced products. Many exhibitors have said that they use the Midwinter Meeting as the meeting to introduce their newest products. The Chicago Dental Society connects the exhibitors with the many great speakers who are speaking at the meeting by allowing Midwinter Meeting attendees to assimilate new products available on the exhibit floor with the new techniques that they learn in the classroom.

    Q: You mentioned that the Midwinter Meeting has become a place where dental companies show off their newest innovations for the first time. Why do you think it has become such an important place to see new products and solutions?

    Dr. Louis Imburgia President-elect,  Chicago Dental SocietyDr. Louis Imburgia, President-elect,
    Chicago Dental Society
    A: There are several reasons why. The Midwinter Meeting is really the granddaddy of dental meetings. It is one of the oldest; this year is the 153rd meeting. As such, it has a strong track record and is getting stronger. It is known as “the respected leader in scientific dental meetings” for a good reason. The Midwinter Meeting attracts many attendees, a high percentage of whom are dentists. 

    Q: Why do you think trade shows—particularly the Midwinter Meeting—are so important to attend?

    A: The driving force behind continuing education is that we all need to accumulate continuing education hours to maintain our license to practice. As a result, there are many avenues to accumulate continuing education. Attending a tradeshow allows the practitioner to have a real comprehensive experience—not just accumulate hours. On the exhibit floor the attendee can actually hold the product and work with it. Attending courses at a meeting allows the participant to interact with the speaker. It also allows the attendee to interact with other attendees and learn about products their colleagues are using. This allows the dentist to learn more and ultimately be a better practitioner. In my opinion, getting CE hours is really only a part of learning. In order to provide better treatment for our patients, we need to know as much as we can about a procedure and learn from our colleagues. It’s like the difference between reading a textbook and attending a class. 

    As the 2018 president of the Chicago Dental Society, I can tell you that it is the best dental meeting in the world! The theme for the 2018 Midwinter Meeting is “A Dental Triad: Pride, Passion, Professionalism.” A triad is defined as a group of three closely related things that work together for one common good. Chicago Dental Society members work together for one common goal: to improve patient treatment. The Midwinter Meeting is truly a masterful orchestration for dentists and their teams. It lives and breathes Pride, Passion and Professionalism.

    Q: What are some of the latest achievements of the CDS Foundation?

    A: In Chicago, we are very proud of the CDS Foundation (CDSF). Since the inception of the foundation just a few years ago, the CDSF has been challenged and has responded amazingly. Since 2009, the Foundation has awarded over $600,000 in grants to area nonprofit organizations that provide dental care and oral health education services to underserved populations. Since 2014, in conjunction with the Wrigley Company Foundation through the Community Service Grant program, the CDSF has provided over $130,000 in grant funding to support community service projects spearheaded by CDS member dentists. 

    What the Foundation is justifiably most proud of is the CDSF Clinic. Since the CDSF Clinic opened in February 2013, the Foundation has provided millions of dollars in donated dental services to over 1,800 patients during more than 6,000 patient visits. This equates to over 6,500 volunteer hours. The Foundation has worked with numerous human service agencies at the clinic to provide care to individuals and families from households with incomes of less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in the tri-county (Cook, Lake and DuPage) area. This was all accomplished by using only volunteer dentists who do not bill the patients for services. The impressive achievement list of the Foundation is quite long and continues to grow with the help of significant financial support provided by the Chicago Dental Society.

    Q: What are some of the goals of CDS both this year and beyond?

    A: As always, our goal is to serve our membership. We are looking at new and innovative ways to engage our young and new dentists as they are the future of the CDS membership. We’re also embracing the changing landscape of the dental field. While dentistry has in the past been thought of as an “old boys club,” this is not the case as nearly half the students graduating from dental school are now women. We’ll be looking at ways to boost and diversify CDS membership and recruitment with emphasis on new dentists, as well as ethnic, gender and geographic diversity. 

    In addition, CDS members are not only leaders in their profession, they are more often than not anchors in their community who are active in civic and community organizations and volunteer, and we’d like to start highlighting more of that. By doing this, we’ll hope to raise the awareness of CDS dentistry and in return hopefully generate an appreciation for the value of seeing a CDS dentist. 

    Q: What are you most excited about for attendees of the 2018 Midwinter Meeting?

    A: We are very excited about many aspects of the 2018 Midwinter Meeting. Our mantra has always been to improve upon last year’s meeting. As impossible as that seems, our goal is always to make it better. This year is no exception. We have many new speakers blended with the tried and true. We are bringing back successful speakers who have not been at the Midwinter Meeting for a while. We are also offering some classes that appeal to young dentists who don’t feel confident in their abilities and want to learn the basics, classes for the more experienced practitioner, and many classes for the dental team to get them engaged in our meeting. 

    I invite you to visit us in Chicago to attend the Midwinter Meeting this Feb. 22-24, and I hope that you will be able to experience firsthand a “Dental Triad: Pride, Passion and Professionalism.”

    For more information: Chicago Dental Society  |  312-836-7300  |  www.cds.org


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