SmileCon ready for takeoff

This year's meeting, hosted by the ADA, Texas Dental Association and Greater Houston Dental Society, will be place to meet, play, learn and smile in Houston

Space City: Houston will host SmileCon 2022.

Dental professionals: get ready for a SmileCon experience that will be out of this world.

This year's meeting, hosted by the ADA, Texas Dental Association and Greater Houston Dental Society, will be the perfect opportunity for dental professionals to meet, play, learn and smile in Houston, Space City.

"Thank you and a big ADA welcome for joining us at SmileCon 2022 for an experience that will be out of this world," said Robert L. Skinner, D.D.S., 2022 meeting chair. "Trust me when I say 'Houston, we have no problems.'"

SmileCon kicks off Oct. 13 with a free continental breakfast at 7 a.m. outside Hall E, just before the Opening Session from 8-9:30 a.m. in the George R. Brown Convention Center, Level 1, Hall E. Keynote speaker Bren Brown, Ph.D., author of six No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, will explore the factors that lead to a culture of fitting in versus true belonging and the qualities of leaders who cultivate cultures of belonging and commitment. The celebrated researcher and storyteller's TED Talk on the "Power of Vulnerability" is one of the top five most-watched TED Talks in the world, with more than 50 million views.

During the Opening Session, attendees will hear real-life stories from their fellow dental professionals who work every day to uplift their communities and will celebrate the contributions of the 10 Under 10 Award winners - 10 new dentists who have demonstrated excellence early in their careers. ADA President Cesar R. Sabates, D.D.S., will reflect on the talent and connections that have made the past year a special one for the dental community, while ADA Executive Director Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., will highlight the ADA's successes over the past year.

Oct. 13 is also Philanthropy Day, where attendees can participate in charitable activities, learn more about volunteer opportunities and share their passion for giving back, beginning with a 6 a.m. 5K fun run around downtown Houston to support the ADA's Give Kids A Smile program. They can also head to Dental Central to pack a backpack with nutritious food, oral health care products and education materials for food insecure children in Houston or join one of several other events.

SmileCon will feature hundreds of continuing education courses through Oct. 15 - including presentations (lectures, panels, sessions and symposia), experiences and conversations (small group discussions, campfires and poster sessions) and hands-on activities (workshops with pre-registration required) that give a chance to roll up your sleeves and take your skills to the next level. Dental Central also offers opportunities to earn CE on the exhibit floor in the Tech Zone and the Dental Team Hub, check out the latest products and technologies offered by hundreds of exhibitors and take advantage of special events and networking opportunities, including C.H.A.T.s and the Podcast and Influencer Hub.

Participants won't want to miss Oct. 14's SmileCon Street Fest, from 5-8 p.m. Gather along Avenida de las Americas outside the convention center to experience local live music, taste savory and sweet bites and experience Houston's diverse cultures. Watch as a trick roper thrills you with the art of spinning a lasso, craft your own straw cowboy hat, make your own leather bracelet or luggage tag and get artsy with local artisans.

Oct. 15's closing session from 3:45-4:45 p.m. in Hall E will feature Leland Melvin, a former NFL wide receiver who served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on missions STS-122 in 2008 and STS-129 in 2009, helping to construct the International Space Station. After retiring as an astronaut, Mr. Melvin led NASA Education and co-chaired the White House's Federal Coordination in STEAM Education Task Force, developing the nation's five-year STEM education plan. He will share his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars and examine the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that align to create opportunities for success.

The closing session will also highlight stories from ADA members and honor Distinguished Service Award winner Zack Studstill, D.M.D., and Humanitarian Award winner Jeffrey B. Dalin, D.D.S. Attendees will also hear from ADA President-Elect George R. Shepley, D.D.S., who will share a message of unity and strength as he looks to the year ahead for the Association and its members.

SmileCon will also offer many opportunities to Meet and Learn, including C.H.A.T.s, DENT Talks, Speakers on the Rise presentations, Women in Dentistry sessions and -  new this year - several continuing education courses in Spanish. And make time to watch Texas dental students compete in the first Dental Olympics and take advantage of wellness courses and events to help you take care of you.

And don't forget to do some easy souvenir shopping while you're here. The SmileCon Store, located on Level 1 in the Grand Lobby, will feature all kinds of merch for your family and friends as well as great mementos of your SmileCon experience. And be sure to download the ADA Events app to get the most out of your SmileCon experience and play Dental Quest for a chance at the grand prize: air, hotel and a Smile Pass for SmileCon 2023 Orlando.

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