Dental teams see ‘great and knowledgeable presenters’ at ODA Annual Session

Pictured are Kelly (Dental Assistant – Front Desk), Dr. Monica Monfredi (Dentist), Rachel (EFDA), Ciera (Hygienist), and Mike (Practice Manager) of Monfredi Family Dental in Columbus at the 2017 ODA Annual Session

Pictured are Kelly (Dental Assistant – Front Desk), Dr. Monica Monfredi (Dentist), Rachel (EFDA), Ciera (Hygienist), and Mike (Practice Manager) of Monfredi Family Dental in Columbus at the 2017 ODA Annual Session.

The 2017 ODA Annual Session – Together Towards Tomorrow – featured CE, activities and shopping for the entire dental team. The 151st Annual Session took place in Columbus on Sept. 14-17.

Nearly 4,000 dental professionals attended the 151st ODA Annual Session, including 1,069 dentists and 153 dental students from The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University and other dental schools in the region.

A discount was provided this year to encourage members to bring their staff. Any dentist who registered three staff members was able to register a fourth staff member for free.

“We were able to bring one staff member in for free. This savings is greatly appreciated as a new small business. Thank you!” said Mike Monfredi, practice manager at Monfredi Family Dental in Columbus.

Monfredi said the office enjoyed attending Annual Session together to learn valuable information and skills as well as build camaraderie.

“Dr. Monica (Monfredi) and I value time for team building and for investing in the knowledge of our staff,” he said. “We decided to attend together to share the experience, to grow together, and to hopefully take a few new tactics or contacts back to our office. All five members of our staff had the opportunity to attend classes independently and as a team, and we also took time to walk the Exhibit Hall. We loved seeing the new products/vendors, and taking in some new ideas.”

This year’s Annual Session featured several new opportunities for dentists and their teams.

New this year, the Exhibit Hall featured a Tech Bar, where dentists and their staffs could speak to experts about digital and online technology. The Tech Bar featured experts who spoke to attendees about solutions for productivity, social media, marketing, practical software and an array of other interests. It also featured a headshot station where attendees could have professional headshots taken, and a representative from the American Dental Association was onsite and helped more than 100 members update their Find A Dentist profiles.

“The Tech Bar and associated presentations were a fabulous addition to the Annual Session,” said Dr. Canise Bean, a general dentist in Columbus. “The experts onsite were very attentive, knowledgeable and willing to give one-on-one tips! Simply awesome. I must admit, I did not get my amusement park visit in this summer and taking my roller coaster ride through the virtual reality glasses was a pure treat! Kudos to the committee for this valuable addition! The photo station and ability to update my Find A Dentist profile in the same space was significant and a special member benefit.”

Another special addition to the Exhibit Hall this year was Dr. Paul Feuerstein’s “Paul in the Hall” CE course. Feuerstein is the technology editor for “Dentistry Today,” and in the course he demonstrated several different products and had representatives on-hand in a non-sales environment to discuss the products.

“There’s always so much noise when it comes to technology options in dentistry,” said Dr. Bryan May, a general dentist in Logan. “However, listening to Paul Feuerstein provided some direction in terms of what he sees in a product that differentiates it from others in the marketplace. Also, getting to hear from those vendors in a non-selling environment was refreshing.”

This year’s Exhibit Hall featured more than 230 booths, and attendees had the opportunity to test different products, ask questions and comparison shop.

New, unique CE opportunities were also available at Annual Session. For the first time ever, the ODA Annual Session featured a cadaver dissection course. Dr. Henry Gremillion, dean of the Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry, presented “Anatomy of the Masticatory System: Clinical Application and Dissection.”

“From inadequate total anesthesia on mandibular first molars to exploring the disc and articular surface of the condyle, this course covered it all,” said Dr. Marybeth Shaffer, a general dentist from Louisville who attended the course. “Dr. Gremillion is truly a master!”

Annual Session also featured several other hands-on workshops, including an oral surgery workshop using pig mandibles. CE courses for all dental team members were available, like the Office Excellence Track designed especially for the front desk employees.

“We chose courses that would help with our clinical approach, as well as help to create a positive patient experience and interaction,” Monfredi said. “We have directly taken information from those lectures and applied the tactics and approaches to our everyday work flow. It will be a gradual process, and although some tips may only be in the subconscious right now, I can anticipate a lasting positive impact.”

Callahan Celebration of Excellence

In conjunction with Annual Session, the Callahan Celebration of Excellence honoring outgoing ODA President Dr. Kevin Laing took place on Sept. 15. The celebration also recognized the 2017 Awards of Excellence winners.

The 2017 Awards of Excellence winners include:

  • Callahan Memorial Award – Dr. George Zarb
  • Distinguished Dentist Award – Dr. Paul Casamassimo
  • Achievement Award – Mr. Don Sabol
  • Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award – Dr. Roger Hess and Dr. Ihor Suszko
  • N. Wayne Hiatt Rising Star – Dr. Lauren Czerniak
  • Access to Care Program Award – Lighthouse Youth Services Oral Health Program, Dr. Rebecca Hayden

For more information about the award winners, visit or check the July, August and September issues of the “ODA Today.”

The ODA Leadership Pin was awarded to Dr. Marybeth Shaffer. Shaffer has been active in councils and committees of the ODA for many years. She served on the ODA Dental Education and Licensure Committee, ODA Annual Session Committee and Strategic Planning Committee. She is a past member of the ODA House of Delegates and has served as an ADA Alternate Delegate. Shaffer also served on the Ohio State Dental Board including serving as the board president.

“In that capacity she was instrumental in the hiring of the board’s new executive director and in ensuring that the interests of dentists and their patients’ oral health was at the forefront of recent deliberations related to prescribing and advertising regulations,” Laing said at the celebration. “Throughout her career in dentistry she has been an advocate for the dental profession, dental patients and the public.”

The ODA Leadership Pin recognizes members who demonstrate leadership in service to the ODA and their peers, a high level of volunteerism within the profession, and a commitment to organized dentistry. The ODA Executive Committee selects a recipient who is a positive influence in growth and development of the ODA – and who is a true role model for future leaders in organized dentistry.

Ohio Dental Political Action Committee (ODPAC) awards were also presented at the celebration, honoring the Eastern Ohio Dental Society for the highest percentage of membership for a small society, the Akron Dental Society for the highest percentage of membership for a large society and the Akron Dental Society for “Deepest Pockets for Dentistry” (highest average contribution).

Table Clinics

On Sept. 15, Annual Session attendees had the opportunity to earn up to two hours of free CE by attending Table Clinics. The presentations covered a wide variety of topics, and a panel of judges rated each of them.

This year’s winners are:

  • Best of show – Dr. Anqi Hu
  • Auxiliary – Ms. Elizabeth McClure
  • First Place Dental Resident – Dr. Dalal Alhajji
  • Second Place Dental Resident – Drs. Eva Kiezik & Charles Quasney
  • Dental Pre-Doctoral – Lauren Thai

Table Clinics were supported by Crest Oral-B.

Save the Date!

The 152nd ODA Annual Session – More Engagement, More Achievement – will be Sept. 13-16, 2018, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Visit for more information and to register, and be sure to like the ODA Annual Session Facebook page.

“We look forward to the Annual Session every year,” Monfredi said. “We are constantly given access to great and knowledgeable presenters full of information across a wide variety of topics both directly and indirectly related to dentistry. All I can say is – keep ’em coming!”