At Henry Schein Thrive Live 2022 attendees were treated to a balance of top-tier education about the latest industry trends, techniques, technologies, and more, alongside performances from renowned entertainers.
The dental meetings calendar is a crowded space, but with a great mix of exciting speakers and evening entertainment Henry Schein Thrive Live 2022 set a high bar for future events.
Hosted at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the event was designed to fit the setting with performances by legendary entertainer Wayne Newton, beloved comedian Jim Gaffigan, and comedian/dental hygienist Carlos Rodriguez, as well as a night out at Club Drai's. But while the entertainment brought excitement to the event, the real heart of Thrive Live 2022 was on the stages for the keynote presentations and the breakout education sessions.
With the main stage hosted by Mike DiTolla, DDS, FAGD, things got off to a lively start right away. But while Dr DiTolla kept things lighthearted, the first keynote presenter Chris Salierno, DDS, was there to help the crowd find their own ways to thrive in the new dental economy. Dr Salierno used data from the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute to show that while the number of dentists is increasing, demand for dental services is not growing at a similar pace. Alongside this trend is the growing commoditization of dental services which Dr Salierno says drives down prices and profit margins for dentists while devaluing the services dentists provide in the minds of their patients.
In an interview following his presentation, Dr Salierno explains that to combat these trends, dental practices need to proactively educate their patients about the value of dental care as a part of maintaining their overall health. But he believes this is a challenge faced by all health care providers.
"I would say all health care has a public image problem," he says. "The oral health IQ in America is outstanding compared with other countries."
With this in mind, Dr Salierno believes the real key to thriving in today's dental industry is to figure out who your practice wants to care for, and then to cater to every aspect of your practice to make an amazing dental experience for that cohort of patients. He says this is just as true for large group practices as it is for small, single-doctor operations. Technology plays a role in this specialization, but it should always be adopted with the goal of servicing the practice's target patients. Dr Salierno also expresses hope that oral-systemic connections continue to help the public put a value on their oral health, but he doesn't believe dentists need to make this the only focus of their patient education.
"There’s a value problem, people don’t see the value in oral care," he says. "Reframing oral health as a part of overall health is a great way to add value, but oral health should be valuable in and of itself too."
Other keynote presenters during the event's 3 days included Christine Aadland, DMD who shared her personal story of building and growing her practice. She shared keys to motivation and how her willingness to adopt new technologies and embrace education allows her practice to add new services to meet the demands of current patients and attract new patients.
Jonathan Levine, DMD, was also on hand to present about how he finds inspiration in the way his patients' lives are changed by the care he provides and the way this has spurred him to do work outside his practice giving back to people in need. In his case Dr Levine shared experiences working alongside rock star Lenny Kravitz to provide care to people in need in his native Bahamas.
The celebrity keynote speaker was entrepreneur and fashion industry titan Daymond John. Dr DiTolla interviewed John from the mainstage about how he found success in business, how he overcame obstacles, and the strangest products he's ever been pitched while working on the popular TV show Shark Tank.
The keynote speaker for the final day of the event was Tarun Agarwal, DDS, who shared his approach to improve his practice's success without creating too much more work. He discusses the difference between business and busyness, and the need to adopt technologies that bring down costs for patients and increase profitability for the practice.
Among the breakout sessions, Devin McClintock, DDS gave an entertaining course about the importance of proper protocols for restorative cases, and why the rubber dam can be a key part of the process. With clear videos and images, this rising star on the dental speaking circuit showcased why she is great at communicating the value of seemingly simple and often overlooked parts of restorative techniques.
Another exciting breakout session featured presentations from Wally Renne, DMD, Heidi Kohltfarber, DDS, MS, PhD, and August de Oliveira, DDS, discussed the latest in digital dental technologies. Up first, Dr Renne reviewed the current crop of intraoral scanners and demonstrated that today's scanners are all great systems capable of quickly and accurately capturing digital impressions that can be used for almost any type of case. He then covered chairside mills and the new trend of lab mills being adopted for chairside use. Next Dr de Oliveira discussed 3D printing and the growing applications for the technology chairside. Finally, Dr Kohltfarber discussed the history and science of cone beam scanning and how it is a technology specifically designed for the dental industry.
Alongside the main stage and the breakout sessions, a compact but lively exhibit hall offered a chance for attendees to check out new and forthcoming innovations from a number of dental manufacturers, as well as take advantage of show discounts.