SmileCon events celebrate dental profession, Houston culture

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Everything is bigger in Texas, and SmileCon 2022 in Houston will be no exception.

From Opening and Closing Sessions that recognize dentists' accomplishments and explore the future of dentistry to a street festival highlighting the culture of Houston, SmileCon will energize dentists as they gather to meet, play, learn and smile.

"SmileCon is a celebration of you, our member dentists, and all the ways you make your mark on dentistry. We hope you'll walkout of every event with your head held high, proud to be part of a dynamic profession," said American Dental Association Executive Director Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S. "We invite you to get inspired and enjoy all the 'wow' moments SmileCon has to offer. We're going big, so don't stay home."

SmileCon is the ADA's joint meeting with the 2022 Texas Dental Association Meeting and the 2023 Greater Houston Dental Society's Star of the South Dental Meeting. It will take place Oct. 13-15 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Brené Brown, Ph.D., researcher and author of six No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, will kick off SmileCon during the Opening Session on Oct. 13. Dr. Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy, and some of her bestsellers include "Atlas of the Heart" and "Dare to Lead." Her TED Talk on the "Power of Vulnerability" is one of the top five most-viewed TED Talks in the world, with more than 50 million views.

During the Opening and Closing Sessions, attendees will explore ideas to fuel the future of the dental profession and hear real-life stories from their fellow dental professionals who work every day to uplift their communities.

They will celebrate the contributions of the 10 Under 10 Award winners during the Opening Session. The Closing Session on Oct. 15 will honor Distinguished Service Award winner Zack Studstill, D.M.D., current Alabama Dental Association executive director and past ADA trustee and second vice president, and Humanitarian Award winner Jeffrey B. Dalin, D.D.S., co-founder of the St. Louis Give Kids A Smile program.

ADA President Cesar R. Sabates, D.D.S., and Dr. Cohlmia will reflect on the past year during the Opening Session, while President-Elect George R. Shepley, D.D.S., will look to the year ahead during the Closing Session.

Both sessions are included with all three meeting passes: Platinum Smile Pass, Smile Pass and Dental Central Pass.

SmileCon Street Fest, taking place Oct. 14 along Avenida de las Americas outside the convention center, will be a night full of food, music and art.

Attendees can sample free bites of all the savory and sweet flavors of Houston, check out the city's best brews, and explore food truck offerings available for purchase. The Houston music and art scenes will be on full display, with performances by Tejano and country bands, as well as live paintings, interactive art installations and Instagram-worthy photo ops.

The party will also offer some uniquely Texan experiences, from learning how to lasso a steer to creating a leather bracelet or luggage tag at a leather-stamping station, and new dentists will have a special VIP area all their own.

Street Fest admission is included with the Platinum Smile Pass and Smile Pass and costs $50 for Dental Central Pass holders. Tickets include food samples and two drinks.

Dentists can take their SmileCon continuing education to the next level by connecting, huddling and talking with speakers at C.H.A.T. events. During these events, participants can grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and get exclusive face time with one of the dental profession's most respected educators to ask their questions or receive advice in a relaxed environment.

Many alumni and affiliate groups will be gathering at SmileCon, offering attendees a chance to strike up conversations, foster relationships and build meaningful connections. Former dental school classmates can rekindle their school spirit and reminisce during alumni receptions. Affiliate dental groups, including the American Association of Endodontists, American Association of Orthodontists, American Academy of Periodontology and more, will also host gatherings where members can connect with their friends and colleagues.

To learn more about SmileCon and to register, visit

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