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Kara Vavrosky, RDH is an Editorial Director at Modern Hygienist, a part of the Modern Dental Network. She is best known for running the popular Facebook page, Dental Hygiene with Kara RDH, and is the founder of DentalHygieneAnswers.com, a Q&A site for dental hygienists. Kara also serves on multiple advisory boards for dental-related companies and is a 2015-2016 ADHA Governance of Tomorrow Steering Committee member. You can learn more about Kara at KaraRDH.com.
Kara Vavrosky shares the highlights from this year’s Chicago Midwinter Meeting.
Another February has passed, which means another Chicago Midwinter dental meeting has passed as well. For those not familiar, the Chicago Midwinter Meeting is one of the biggest and longest running dental conferences in the country, this year being its 152nd year. It’s put on by the Chicago Dental Society and occurs every February. Although it’s called Midwinter, this year it felt more like midsummer with the mild weather!
Attending dental conferences is something I highly recommend to any dental professional. Whether it’s a small local conference or a big national one like Chicago Midwinter, they are an invaluable experience to growing within the profession. Not only are there CE opportunities, but it’s also a great way to see new products, get samples, network with fellow dental professionals and meet the people behind the companies of products you use every day.
Continue to the next page to see the highlights.
KAVO Kerr party
KAVO, a large dental manufacturer, had a launch party for their new branding and expansion of products beyond handpieces. This expansion includes treatment units and imaging systems. Although their primary focus isn’t hygiene products, it was an eye-opening experience to see their commitment to the industry as a whole.
Roaming the floor
One of my favorite things to do during conferences is to check out the booths on the conference floor. This is where you see new and existing products first-hand, get demos and usually leave with some samples! I recommend bringing an extra suitcase or bag so you have room to bring all of the samples and goodies home.
In particular, I enjoyed visiting the Zirc booth and seeing all their latest organizational products. I also enjoyed seeing my dear friend and hygienist Emily Boge, demonstrate the instrument she developed, the Boge 513. I got an informative lesson on NeutraSal and how it can help xerostomia and mucositis patients from another wonderful friend and hygienist, Trish Keena.
Recording a podcast interview
If you haven’t subscribed to Andrew Johnston and Michelle Strange’s podcast, “A Tale of Two Hygienists,” you must do so! They are a fantastic duo of hygienists who interview different dental professionals and provide a great window into the dental industry. I had the pleasure and honor of being interviewed by Andrew and Michelle, where we discussed a variety of topics ranging from how I got started with social media to my thoughts on assisted hygiene. Subscribe to their podcast to be notified when the interview will be available.
Dentsply Sirona party
This was probably the biggest highlight of my entire time in Chicago. Dentsply Sirona rented out the entire House of Blues Chicago concert hall for a private, jungle-themed party on Friday night. Luckily, all my responsibilities and meetings were over because it was a party! Although a bit loud with the cover band and DJ in between sets, it was a great chance to catch up with a lot of industry folks in a relaxed environment.
Catching up with the Dental Products Report team
I would be remiss to mention how great it was to catch up with the team I work with Dental Products Report and Modern Hygienist. Since most of them are based on the East Coast and myself on the West Coast, I only get to see them in person a couple times a year. It’s always great to see the people in person who I’m in touch with every week!
Overall, this year’s Chicago Midwinter was another successful event. The atmosphere was jovial and there was a lot of great networking that occurred. I encourage you to branch out and attend dental conferences, both large and small, as often as you are able. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes!