Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Midwinter Meeting 2015: Spotlight on The 360 Experience


The Midwinter Meeting scientific program has long boasted of courses for the whole dental team. But this year's 360 Experience takes it to a new level.

Offered by a team of four speakers — two dentists, a management consultant and a hygienist — the 360 Experience brings your office team together to learn about topics that relate to each person's role in your practice. These include embracing new materials, communication skills, hot topics in restorative dentistry, new technology to enhance the patient experience, and interactive learning.

Ted Borris, director of scientific programs at the Chicago Dental Society, explained that all participants will start the day-long session together, split into units by profession (dentist, hygienist, dental assistant and office manager) for break out sessions with the speakers, and then reunite at the end of the day for a summation.

“This program is about getting everyone on the dental team talking from the same page, since it is the whole team that creates the patient experience,” he said. “You might think you are working together when you start the day, but the speakers will help you see how far apart you are, check in with attendees throughout the day to monitor your progress, and then help the team plan its next steps for when everyone returns to the office.”

The coordinated curriculum was added to the 2015 Midwinter Meeting in response to requests and recommendations from past meeting attendees, CDS President Susan Becker Doroshow said.

“Our meeting has always had courses that all team members could attend together, but that were still primarily targeted to assistants, or business staff, or hygienists,” she said. “One thing that Program Chair David Lewis, General Chair Mark Humenik, and I heard over and over when we asked attendees for feedback about the Midwinter Meeting was that they wished there was something that everyone in the office could experience together.

“We were thrilled to have DENTSPLY’s corporate support for a program that is exactly that: an educational experience tailored to each dental team member, with plenty of opportunities throughout the day to share what they’ve learned. I’m confident that teams who take advantage of this program and its unique educational format will return to their offices with a new enthusiasm for caring for their patients.”

The day-long 360 Experience will be offered Friday, Feb. 27, beginning at 8:15 a.m.  Register for the 360 Experience, C239, with your other Midwinter Meeting courses and special event tickets.



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Permanent link  Consider our new Exhibit Hall hours and other changes before Feb. 26


This may not be your first Midwinter Meeting, but that doesn’t mean your experience will be predictable.  Each year brings a few changes to the Exhibit Hall and the scientific program to keep the meeting relevant and fresh.

New in 2015, the Exhibit Hall will be open 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 26 and 27, and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28. The shorter schedule Saturday came at the request of the Dental Trade Alliance and other exhibitors.

“This has been a trend at other dental meetings that allows exhibitors time to tear down their booths and make Saturday evening flights home, thus avoiding the added expense of an extra night of lodging while still enjoying a full and productive show,” explained Lisa Girardi, Director of Exhibit Services at the Chicago Dental Society.

Therefore, it’s important that attendees take every opportunity to be on the exhibit floor while they are on site Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“Take in as much as you can during those 24 hours that the floor is open for business,” Ms. Girardi recommended.

Toward that end, the Chicago Dental Society is providing several amenities to make the Exhibit Hall comfortable and convenient for all our guests: 

  • Two rear entrances make the floor accessible via express escalator from the 190 rooms on the east side and 180 rooms on the west side of McCormick Place West. While these will allow attendees in those course rooms faster access to the floor, these entrances will be monitored by show security and badges will be required for access.
  • Several food and coffee stations are located throughout the Exhibit Hall
  • The Hospitality Hub will sell beer and wine and appetizers at the end of each day.
  • Restrooms are available at several locations around the Exhibit Hall
  • The Rebate Redemption center returns to the southeast corner of the Exhibit Hall. CDS members who registered for the Midwinter Meeting before Feb. 1 received with their badges a rebate coupon applicable to purchases made on the exhibit floor during the Midwinter Meeting.  Redeem these coupons with your receipts on site only (no coupons will be accepted by fax or mail).
  • Tote bag pick up stations are located at the end of aisle 700-800 and 4700-4800.
  • Attendees may earn 1 CE credit for time spent on the exhibit floor each day of the Midwinter Meeting. Look for CE codes near the Overlook Café at least one hour after the floor opens.
  • The free 2015 Midwinter Meeting Mobile App allows users to navigate their routes through the Exhibit Hall. Or, visit the Virtual Exhibit Hall at before you arrive to plot your course. 




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Permanent link  Doctor, heal thyself at these Midwinter Meeting clinics


Hundreds of oral health professionals will convene at McCormick Place West in a few weeks for the 150th Midwinter Meeting. They’re anticipating three days spent discussing the best practices for keeping their patients in good health.

But there are also opportunities at the Midwinter Meeting for health care providers to check up on their own health.

Pelton and Crane will again offer ergonomics evaluations at a wellness center, located in Booth #100 (aisle 100, near the Rebate Redemption Center) in the Exhibit Hall. During these free sessions, physical therapists will consider how individual professionals position themselves around the chair and on their stools in an operatory. 

“What we know is that dentists are willing to do anything for their patients, and so they become so focused on the task at hand that they disregard the positions they’re putting themselves in to get the job done,” physical therapist Tim Caruso said. “Dentists and hygienists are taking on some pretty awkward postures, to the detriment of their own bodies.”

Additional information about areas of pain or discomfort, leisure activities and pain management techniques help ergonomics professionals analyze the dental professional’s most common practice. These assessments last 15-30 minutes, and participants leave with advice for simple improvements.

Providers at all stages of their careers – whether they currently feel physical pain or not – are invited to participate. 

“Ideally, these best practices would be reviewed in dental school to help students avoid developing bad habits during their clinical training,” Mr. Caruso said. “ Your body is the most important instrument you have for a fulfilling career.”

Elsewhere at the Midwinter Meeting, attendees can schedule a health screening with BlueApple Health. They offer more than 31 tests, at prices up to $115, to assess cardiovascular risk. The CDS Wellness Center will be open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Feb. 26-28, in room CC20 at the Hyatt McCormick Place Conference Center. Schedule an appointment online, when you complete your Midwinter Meeting registration.



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Permanent link  Midwinter Meeting Fashion Workshop focuses on personal brands


Midwinter Meeting Special Events are an integral part of the annual program. Friday night concerts, Opening Session speakers, and elegant Dinner Dances enable participants to unwind after long days of learning, whether in the classroom or on the exhibit floor.

New this year will be the Friday afternoon Fashion Workshop and Luncheon, featuring Amy Salinger. Titled “Brand Yourself with Sass and Style,” Ms. Salinger’s program will offer participants — both male and female — ways to make use of their existing wardrobes, combined with a few budget-friendly additions, to flatter their body types and express their personal brands.

“In a competitive world, it’s a challenge for professionals to differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace,” said Susan Doroshow, who will serve as CDS president in 2015. “None of us ever knows when we might run into a patient or meet a potential referral source. A consistent visual image and strong sense of style - in other words, a personal brand - is one way that a dentist can pull away from the pack.  When you look your best, you feel more confident - and that confidence can translate into greater practice success and personal satisfaction.”

Ms. Salinger is the perfect stylista to lead the workshop, with experience working on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and TLC’s What Not to Wear and The Makeover Story. She’s also appeared on The Today Show, MTV, the Lifetime Series “Million Dollar Shoppers, and Sirius Radio’s Living with Martha Stewart; she’s been featured in the New York Times, People Style Watch, InStyle, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, and Life and Style.

The Midwinter Meeting-exclusive Fashion Workshop at McCormick Place includes time for lunch, the program, and a question-and-answer session with Ms. Salinger. Participants will also receive a booklet filled with style tips and advice for quick reference at home.

While runway fashion shows offer attendees a fantasy experience, Dr. Doroshow said, Ms. Salinger will give workshop participants a sense of how fashion fits into and enhances the real lives of working professionals.

“Amy Salinger believes that personal style is within everyone’s reach and budget,” Dr. Doroshow said. “The men and women who attend our program will walk away with the tools to take their wardrobes to the next level, using what’s already in our closets and without breaking the bank.”

Register to attend the Fashion Workshop when you register for other Midwinter Meeting courses and Special Events, using code SE2. 



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Permanent link  Make your travel plans for the Midwinter Meeting now


Chicago’s official tourism bureau, Choose Chicago, reported record traffic into our beautiful city in 2013: 

  • 48.48 million visitors came to Chicago, an increase of 4.2 percent over 2012
  • Business travelers maintained a 10-year high of 7.23 million visitors within that total
  • A record number of 13.136 million hotel rooms were available, with an average occupancy rate of over 75 percent
  • O’Hare Airport alone recorded more than 571,000 domestic flights and more than 62,000 international flights. 

With that in mind, we’d be remiss not to remind our Midwinter Meeting attendees to act now to secure travel accommodations for the 2015 Midwinter Meeting. CDS does not maintain a housing bureau and does not make reservations for attendees of the Midwinter Meeting.

CDS has however made arrangements at several hotels for a limited number of rooms with special discounted rates or incentives during the Midwinter Meeting.  Among them, free shuttle bus service to McCormick Place (the site of the Midwinter Meeting) will be available for guests staying at these room block hotels.

Find the list of room block hotels online, and contact the hotel of your choice directly to make your reservation. 

If you plan to travel from outside the U.S. and need a visa, request a letter of invitation from CDS here.




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