RDH Under One Roof: It's time for dental hygienists to make a decision!

Aug. 9, 2016
Dee Humphrey, RDH, describes her experience at the 2016 RDH Under One Roof and encourages dental hygienists to begin preparing for the 2017 conference.

Angie Stone, RDH, makes a point during a RDH Under One Roof seminar.

By Dee Humphrey, RDH, BHSc

Most hygienists know all too well the monotony of having to take continuing education courses to keep our licenses current and legal. Sometimes, we even grumble under our breaths, “Do I have to go?”

We search for courses that we are interested in and hope that we get what we paid for, all while listening to other hygienists about their negative experiences. We constantly wonder if the seminars are worth the money, the long trip, and the time spent away from home, work, or family.

But that is not the case with me!

I recently went to RDH Under One Roof, which celebrated its 15th anniversary, dental conference in National Harbor, Md., on July 28-30. It was my second time to go to this specific conference (my first time was last year in Las Vegas) and it surely did not disappoint! Take it from me, the conference itself was nothing to complain about, nor was I stalling to go. I couldn’t wait until it finally arrived. It’s like Christmas for a dental hygienist! RDH Under One Roof (UOR) is an experience of a lifetime and should be known for its through-the-roof opportunities. There were more than 1,400 amazing dental hygienists present, 110 exhibitors ready to share their incredible products, and up to 20 continuing education credits available from seminars given by extraordinary speakers from all over the United States and Canada. Who could ask for a better event happening all in one remarkable spot? Better yet, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center was the “it” place to be that specific weekend, especially if you were a dental hygienist.
Upon returning home, hundreds of pictures and irreplaceable memories flooded social media (mine included) about the adventures of places seen or the rock stars in dental hygiene that I was fortunate to meet. Ever since graduating from hygiene school, I remember reading about these incredible speakers, authors, educators, and influencers in the industry. Suddenly, I posing for selfies with them (I still jump up and down with joy when I look at the photos!). I even got the opportunity to have lunch with some of them and was also be fortunate to receive some one-on-one mentoring (for free). I am still blown away by all the years of wisdom and encouragement I received. The list of influential speakers that impacted me included Jackie Sanders, Linda Meeuwenberg, Maria Perno Goldie, Angie Stone, Debbie Zafiropoulos, Nadine Russell, Cindy Purdy, Noel Kelsch, Jo-Anne Jones, Sarah Thiel, Kathleen Bokrossy, Nikki Raver, Colette Carlson, Edie Gibson, Anne Guignon, Shirley Gutkowski, Kristine Hodsdon, Amy Kinnamon, and, last but not in the least, Karen Seibert. They were just many of the women I was privileged to see or talk with. I even got to meet and hug three of the Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction recipients while congratulating them for their amazing accomplishments. Corey Jameson-Kuehl and Debbie Z. even wanted to take a picture with me. How cool is that? OK, I’ll be honest. I was more star-struck than a little girl seeing Justin Bieber for the first time after seeing all these legends in the dental hygiene profession! Sharing my experiences while meeting new people, seeing old friends, and even seeing one of my dental hygiene classmates all the way in Maryland (who I haven’t seen in six years) was truly icing on the cake.

Not only did I get valuable continuing education credit from the incredible speakers, but I also got to spend some invaluable extra time with extraordinary companies, such as American Eagle Instruments and Crest & Oral-B. I learned from the best about the products for oral health, including the phenomenal new Boge 513 from American Eagle’s XP Technology no-sharpen instruments (I even got to meet Emily Boge, the designer of the instrument). This information is vital to any hygienist who is still working clinical and wants to take their patient care to the next level.

I participated in a research study for Crest’s HD toothpaste and brush my teeth on the exhibit floor while sharing my experiences—not to mention obtaining a free Oral-B Pro 5000 Smart Series with 3D action powered toothbrush for registering to RDH Under One Roof early. Then I also got to learn more about the new Genius Oral-B Smart series with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and Oral-B app, which is over-the-top amazing! It’s invaluable information that would excite any hygienist.

After going to the Mega Session on “Stress Less: You Management vs. Time Management” with Colette Carlson, I received amazing stress techniques and a Phillips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum powered toothbrush on the exhibit floor for participating. Two powered toothbrushes that I can give away for better patient care.

The copious amounts of samples given from the exhibitors was enough to fill my check-in baggage for the airport. I proudly paid the $25 to check my bag because I know the many faces in our office that will benefit from these products. I could go on for pages and share with the world everything I experienced on this through-the-roof experience at RDH Under One Roof in Maryland this year, but I’ll spare your eyes and attention span.

As I continued to scroll through social media, I also saw numerous comments about hygienists who didn’t get the opportunity to embark on this wonderful journey and their regrets about wanting to. Thoughts of sadness filled my heart for those who did not get the opportunity to make it to RDH Under One Roof this year. I wondered what kept them away or if it was fear of taking a chance on this phenomenal dental conference. Years earlier, I felt the same way too before I had actually got the opportunity to experience it firsthand. What are you waiting for? It is time to make a decision and go to Start getting familiar with all the information on their website. Don’t just take my word for attending, go to the “reasons to attend” section and hear or read about all of the other hygienists’ testimonies from all over the United States and Canada. It truly is the greatest conference on earth for those who proudly carry RDH after their name. Invest in yourself with this conference, and get the most out of your experience at RDH Under One Roof. I promise the possibilities are endless and the friends you meet will become like family year after year.

If you missed this year’s RDH Under One Roof’s dental conference, you lost out on an experience of a lifetime. Don’t make this mistake twice in a row! It’s time to make a decision and commit to come to the next RDH Under One Roof dental conference at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago in 2017. There will be opportunities to elevate your career, Chicago Style, obtain 20 CE credits and see over 110 exhibitors. So make sure to save the date and go!

Two thousand or so dental hygienists will be there ready to take this adventure with you. I am already registered and hope that I get to meet you at RDH Under One Roof in Chicago next year!

For the most current dental headlines, click here.

Dee Humphrey, RDH, BHSc, has been infecting the masses with her contagious laughter and enthusiastic passion for dental hygiene. She has worked as a clinical dental hygienist and prevention specialist since 2010 in a tribal community dental clinic in northeast Oklahoma and has respectfully earned intuitive public health knowledge. Dee is an author and speaker who inspires and motivates people to take action and have faith. She received her dental hygiene and bachelor’s of science degrees at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.