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Learning and Growth at Dentsply Sirona Siroworld, Part I

Dr. Edward Alvarez was one of many dental professionals in attendance at Dentsply Sirona World in Las Vegas, NV. Continue reading to learn about the first part of his experience at the conference.
PUBLISHED: Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sirona World was anything but a mundane dental conference, according to Alvarez. 

This past September 14 through 16 brought us the Dentsply Sirona Siroworld meeting at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Billed as the Ultimate Dental Meeting, this three-day educational festival promised quite a lot, and boy did it deliver.

The meeting sought to bring together some of the best educators in dentistry, leaders in marketing and practice management, and dentists truly focused on taking their practice to the leading edge of technological advancements in our profession. Siroworld even came with its own mobile app to keep attendees informed at every step.

Most would figure that a conference sponsored by Dentsply Sirona would be heavily focused on CEREC, but it was much more than that. Beginning with its first general session, Siroworld showed the 8,500 dental professionals in the audience what their weekend was going to be like. It was lasers, it was robotic dancers ala Daft Punk or Blue Man Group, it was music, and it was high energy. This was not going to be a boring dental conference where you sat in a room just to get CE credits.

Our first educational experience was a one-hour live surgery by Dr. Neal Patel. After an introduction, Dr. Patel proceeded to the surgical suite that was set up on the exhibit floor. Surrounded by multiple cameras, Dr. Patel and his patient were live streamed into the general session, where a moderator asked questions while the procedures were performed. The patient being treated had previously been scanned with the CEREC and had a CBCT done, which showed root resorption and bone loss to his left central incisor.

The importance of scanning with the CEREC, and merging the data with the CBCT, is that it allowed for an implant proposal to be created, whereby the implant placement position could be determined prior to surgery. Once that was done, a surgical guide could then be designed in the office with the CEREC software and immediately fabricated in the CEREC MC X milling chamber from a clear acrylic block.

Having previously completed all those steps at a prior appointment, as well as having the anesthesia done off camera, Dr. Patel went on to do an atraumatic extraction of the patient’s central incisor with the use of a periotome and forceps. The tooth which was just extracted was then put into a dentin grinder, whereby it was then used as an autologous bone graft. The implant fixture was then placed using the surgical guide created from the initial CEREC scan and CBCT. An implant abutment was then torqued into place, and a crown which had been fabricated on the CEREC prior to the surgery was then placed on the implant.

The demonstration showed how with proper planning, and the use of technology, it was truly possible to do an extraction, hard tissue graft, implant placement, and crown in about an hour. As Dr. Patel stated, his patient did not go all the way to Las Vegas from Ohio to not have a front tooth. Starting off a meeting with that type of display set the bar as to where the rest of the meeting would go.

One of the most important and informative presentations to the general session was given by Dr. Joshua Austin of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Austin spoke about the importance of online reputation and reviews, as well as the rise of social media in dentistry. Our world as dentists has changed — we are no longer judged by patients who tell their friends in town. Instead, we are now judged by hundreds, even thousands of people from just about anywhere based on reviews that are seen on online. As Dr. Austin alluded, it can be very frustrating, even anger-provoking to see your hard work and reputation questioned or tarnished online by someone who may have their own agenda. The key is to learn how to cultivate positive reviews from our other patients that will drown out the few negative or unfair reviews we may receive.

As dentists, myself included, we live in a world where we strive for perfection, not only in our work but in how we are seen by our patients and colleagues. What we must understand is that perfection is not only unrealistic but more importantly, very subjective. Dr. Austin gave the example of how to read a negative Yelp review for a three-star Michelin rated restaurant. When he went on to read the reviewer’s other Yelp reviews, the reviewer also gave a fast food chain five stars. What that should teach us as dentists is that even if we strive to provide exceptional service and results, many times patients will see it differently through their eyes. It is not up to us to get upset, but it is up to us to continue to do our best, hope and seek to get excellent reviews from other patients and to take the occasional negative review with a grain of salt. 

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