Lauren Burns | Associate Editor
One thing that stuck out to me throughout the last few weeks of preparing the November issue of Proofs was something that Dr. Robert Edwab said to me about the Greater New York Dental Meeting (see page 8). It was a cute thing to say; clever, funny – but most of all, it made me curious about what it really meant to the industry as a whole.
You already know what it was. The quote was so powerful to me that I made it the title of our cover story. He was just talking about the upcoming meeting, but he was implying a lot about the industry.
He said, "It's not your grandfather's dental meeting." He was comparing attendance figures of the GNYDM, the largest dental meeting by attendance, with other meetings that bring in thousands of dentists and exhibitors every year, but just don't meet the figures of the GNYDM. A lot goes in to the number of people who can and do attend dental meetings, but I won't get into that here. The point was – the times, they are a'changin' (as Bob Dylan sang).
I was reading an article about the dental industry recently in another magazine that I either can't remember the name of or just won't share with you here, and it mentioned that dentists used to not really have to try very hard. It was a good field to get into: high salary, flexible schedule, interesting day-to-day routine; but now, it's a lot of work. For instance: just to stay relevant and show up in Google search, a dental practice has to have a new website (updated within the last three years, at least). It has to be attractive, interactive, and social. A patient may write a Yelp review for her dentist saying how amazing her experience was in the office, but if he doesn't write back with some appreciation, she'll probably never come back – because it's not your grandfather's dental office, either.
With many dentists scrambling to meet the latest HIPAA standards and implement more technology into their practices to streamline procedures and data, they go to tradeshows to see how they can make the work they do a little easier; simplify in a time that's getting a little bit complicated.
And so that means being more involved: it means knowing the office you're partnering with, and it means giving dentists – and office managers (as you'll see on page 12) – a little more hands-on interaction.
It's not your grandfather's dental meeting, and dentists aren't using your grandfather's dentistry either.