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3 Things I Learned at the IAPA

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Hollie and I recently attended the 2019 IAPA conference at The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies to support our clients and the vendors that we work with daily. I wanted to share with you a few things that I took away from the conference.

One really exciting thing to me was how many doctors brought their ENTIRE team to the conference! This is HUGE from a team perspective! I spent most of my career as a Treatment Coordinator and team member, and it was always so inspiring and exciting when the entire team was allowed to attend conferences such as this one. The level of knowledge and technology that is being shared at IAPA is so advanced and ground-breaking there is no way a team could leave and not be mind-blown and super-excited by it! As for the doctors that chose to include their whole team in this experience, I commend you! It is expensive, and you could have chosen to attend alone, but rather, you made the investment in your team and your vision. What you showed your team by having them attend is that you value them as a key part of your vision, you are invested in their future, and you believe in their desire to help you take your practice to the highest level. You believe they want to continue to hone their skills, build on their knowledge, and provide your patients the highest level of care available. You will certainly see the reward in your investment.

Another takeaway from the IAPA was the level of collaboration between vendors and speakers. Several speakers this year had assistance from, input from, or presented with one or more vendors that were there to talk to doctors about the technology and products they provide. These technologies and products will allow doctors to provide a higher level of care to their patients. Williams Dental was a part of Dr. Brian Harris’s presentation on Smile Virtual. Nate Krey from BioResearch showed slides of the nasal airway graphs taken on the Rhinomanometer with Glennine Varga. It was just really awesome to see how technology and products integrate with the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Everyone working together made it all “click.”  Collaboration Cures!!!

The last thing I want to talk about is the teams that were at IAPA. I mentioned the doctors and how awesome they were to take the teams, but the TEAMS!!!! I was fortunate to be able to interact and speak with dozens of team members from all positions of the practice. Every single one of them came out of every single class and was absolutely on fire to get back home to their respective practices and implement what they had learned. Hygienists, assistants, office managers, treatment coordinators…they all gained insight into the “why” things work the way they do, not just the “how-to”. Some learned how to utilize the BioPak to a higher level. Some learned how to utilize a laser for periodontal therapy or a cold laser for inflammation reduction. Some learned how to utilize virtual smile design to sell cosmetic cases. Some learned how the T-Scan integrates with the BioPak to ensure the correct physiologic bite position. But what was so impressive was that as each team member came from their respective classes, the statement I heard the most was, “You won’t believe how we can use the information I just got in that lecture!” They were talking about it with the rest of their team. They were sharing information and strategizing how they could put it to use once they got back to their practice. It was absolutely gratifying to see folks that love what they do, want to do it to the highest level they possibly can, and share that knowledge with anyone that will listen.

If you did not attend the IAPA this year, talk to your team and your doctors about the investment in going next time. It will, without a doubt, be a game-changer for your practice on every level. 

Sherri Merritt is a dental consultant and coach with Bryant Consultants. She has spent many years as a dental assistant, a trainer for Niche Seminars, and has worked under Dr. Brad Durham of Savannah, Georgia, who was the first dentist to be awarded a Mastership from the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Her training and coaching techniques help practices around the country improve their practice systems and team communication to produce effective results, happier teams, and best of all, create a better patient experience. To learn more, just call (877) 768-4799 or email mailto:sherri.merritt@bryantconsultants.com.

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