The Forum — Ormco’s annual user conference — is one of the orthodontic industry’s most unique educational opportunities. With engaging clinical men-toring sessions, panel discussions, and collaborative opportunities, The Forum provides personalized educational paths intended to help both doctors and staff bring their practices to the next level. The Forum 2016 once again delivered on this promise. Deemed the “Face 2 Face” Forum — one where industry experts, peers, and friends can gather to create meaningful relationships and discuss advancements in orthodontics — the sold-out event welcomed 1,400 orthodontic professionals to sunny Southern California for 4 days of education, networking, and fun.
We sat down with Dr. Michael Hess and Dr. Toby VanLandschoot to hear about their experiences and key learnings from The Forum 2016. Hess & VanLandschoot Orthodontics has four practice locations in the Tampa, Florida, area.
How many years have you attended The Forum? Do you bring your staff?
Dr. Hess: I’ve been going to The Forum for about 8 years now, and it’s always something to look forward to. In the past, we’ve had the opportunity to bring our staff, especially when it’s in the Florida area, given our practice location.
Dr. VanLandschoot: On my end, I’ve attended The Forum for about 5 years. I think there’s a ton of value in bringing our staff to the conference, as it really opens up their perspective on the industry as a whole and allows them to see how other practices interact and excel at their craft.
What were your impressions of The Forum 2016?
Dr. Hess: First, we have to acknowledge the absolutely stunning location. Hosted at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, we had beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, gorgeous weather, and an amazing venue. As far as the sessions go, Dr. Dwight Damon’s presentation during general session on his vision for the future of orthodontics was compelling. You could tell the crowd was completely enamored with his work and commitment to thinking outside of the box to present new mechanics and practices. Outside of this, there were many other sessions related to the Damon™ System, where participants discussed both the fundamentals and advanced mechanics of the Damon System to gain deeper knowledge on how to employ passive self-ligation treatment mechanics.
Dr. VanLandschoot: I’m always impressed with how well executed and put together The Forum is. Ormco truly wants to make it an amazing event — from both a social and educational standpoint — and it shows. It’s a professional conference, yet still incredibly fun and allows you to get to know your colleagues better, learn about the latest and greatest in orthodontics, and hear from a number of well-respected doctors.
How was The Forum 2016 different from previous years?
Dr. Hess: This year there were smaller breakout sessions for attendees. Playing along with the “Face 2 Face” theme, the sessions allowed us to not only ask more questions to the presenters but also have valuable discussions around the topics they were presenting.
Dr. VanLandschoot: One thing that really stood out was a breakfast that Ormco hosted with its upper management to discuss Insignia™ and its use in our day-to-day lives. Their team brought us together to get our thoughts and opinions on the all-inclusive system, where we see it going in the future, and what improvements they can make. We talked at length about the power of customized brackets, wires, and placement trays. It was also informative to hear how peers are combining treatment strategy with the precision of computer-aided smile design to give patients an optimal occlusion and smile arc specifically proportioned to their unique facial features. To me, this really showed how much Ormco cares not only for its doctors and our opinions, but also about continuously improving its products.
Was there a panel or session that really stood out to you?
Dr. VanLandschoot: Dr. David Sarver’s “Face 2 Face” mentoring session was tremendous. It was all about the esthetic implications of orthodontic treatment — which is becoming more and more important to patients. Over the past several years, the industry has seen a significant jump in the demand for esthetic, yet effective, treatment choices. Furthermore, when you consider the fact that adults undergoing treatment account for 22% of all orthodontic cases, there’s a demand to cater to these esthetically minded individuals. Dr. Sarver is well respected and a great lecturer, so being able to interact with him in a small, intimate setting gave us the opportunity to ask questions and connect with him on a more personal level.
What key learnings or ideas did you bring back to your staff?
Dr. Hess: At one of the clinical workshops, we were exposed to a new placement technique for TADs — infrazygomatic crest TADs — and we immediately shared it with our staff and have already leveraged it in our practice. Outside of this, we enjoyed learning about Smile for a Lifetime (S4L), a charitable foundation on a mission to provide free-quality orthodontic care to individuals with financial challenges and special orthodontic needs. Given the fact that Ormco is a corporate sponsor of the organization, and that one of our goals as a practice is to be more involved in charity efforts this year, we knew this was something we wanted to pursue. When we presented the information to the staff, they were instantly on board and excited about the opportunity. The S4L team at The Forum had a number of ideas as it relates to putting together a team and how to execute the program, especially when it comes to identifying patient candidates.
From your perspective, how important are continuing education courses, and how does Ormco cater to practice education needs?
Dr. Hess: First, I’ll say that education is a core value of our practice, and we’re grateful for all the courses and opportunities that Ormco provides for doctors and our teams. You always want to be on the cutting edge of the industry, and to do that, you have to be aware and knowledgeable of new techniques, technologies, and products that are out there. Before we adopted Insignia, we participated in an in-office course with Dr. Jamie Reynolds about a year ago. The hands-on training course proved incredibly valuable for our entire staff, and today, one year later, the investment is paying off. The technology is fully integrated into our practice, and treatment efficiencies have hugely improved.
Dr. VanLandschoot: To echo that, we also attended Dr. Stuart Frost’s Advanced Damon In-Office course, which discusses how facial esthetics and the smile are further related — small details make all the difference in the final result. Attending these educational courses is an investment, but one that I’m willing to make time and time again.
The Forum 2017 is scheduled to take place February 22-25, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. To see Ormco’s full schedule of upcoming CE courses and events, visit www.ormco.com/education/.
This information was provided by Ormco™.