10 Questions: The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

March 21, 2012
Issue 6

01 What experience do you bring to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry?

01What experience do you bring to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry?

I came to AACD with nearly 20 years of experience in growing and promoting membership associations. While this is my first opportunity to work in a dental organization, I’m no stranger to dentistry; my dad was a dentist and also instructed at Loyola School of Dentistry in Chicago, and I originally went to college for medical illustration. I would often illustrate the materials he used in his dental seminars for insurance professionals.

02Where do you think cosmetic dentistry is heading in the next 3 to 5 years?

Up! We’re seeing evidence that the demand for cosmetic dentistry services is on the increase. As techniques and materials continue to improve, AACD member dentists can offer their patients form with no compromise of function. Cosmetic dentistry is not about achieving idealism; rather the naturalism of responsible esthetics.

03How has the economy affected cosmetic dentists and what is the impact on your membership?

The economy did have a bearing on our members and member numbers. But optimism is returning. It’s encouraging to see, for instance, that our conference registration numbers were up about 22%  over 2010. We’re also seeing tremendous opportunity globally as more international dental professionals have recently joined AACD.

04How does the AACD create awareness for cosmetic dentistry and the benefits of working with an AACD dentist?

There’s a core expectation among our members that their Academy will spread the good news about cosmetic dentistry-that it’s more than just a Hollywood smile, rather, it’s about self-confidence and good systemic oral health. So we’ve been pitching stories to mass media over the past year and have seen interest in consumer publications like the New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day, Marie Claire, Men’s Health and more.

05What are the advantages of achieving AACD Accreditation?

Our Accredited members will tell you earning the coveted AACD credential has not just changed their professional practices, but changed their lives. The Accreditation journey is rigorous, but entirely worthwhile because it makes you a better practitioner, and challenges assumptions about diagnosis and treatment planning.

06What types of educational offerings does the Academy provide its members?

In addition to our well-respected Annual Scientific Session, we’re busy adding Regional and International programming to reach dental professionals where they live. Our peer-reviewed clinical Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry now features a fresh, contemporary design, tests for earning CE credits, and a credible editorial review board, making the JCD an even more referenced publication.

07How else can cosmetic dentists and laboratory technicians improve their clinical skills?

The AACD “brand” of continuing dental education is based on a foundation of experiential, hands-on, and collaborative learning, which differentiates us from other dental organizations. Our conference, for instance, brings dentists, lab techs and team members together in an environment that fosters more efficient communication.

08How is the Academy staying relevant to its membership?

We’ve asked them what they want from their Academy, and we’ve used that input to prioritize our benefits portfolio. We’ve added new offerings this past year-like a robust e-learning program-that our members asked for. And we’re heading in the right direction; we’ve seen a two-point bump in our retention rate, which any association executive will tell you is significant.

09How does the Give Back a Smile program improve the lives of domestic violence survivors and the dental professionals who offer their support?

The GBAS mission is to assist in rebuilding the lives and dignity of survivors of domestic violence through compassionate cosmetic dental services. Our program volunteers not only restore smiles, they are privileged to restore lives. And giving back helps differentiate them in their community by standing for something noble and meaningful.

10How is the AACD leveraging technology to stay on the cutting edge?

We’re improving our Web search so more prospective patients can locate an AACD dentist near them. In addition, we now offer smartphone and iPad apps for our conference and the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry. And “My AACD” online communities put the power of social networking in the hands of our members helping them connect with, support and encourage one another.