As chair of SmileCon 2023, Melanie Love, D.D.S., has been hard at work developing ideas that will make SmileCon the "ultimate meeting for the dental community."
"Our goal is to have SmileCon become the dental meeting that no one wants to miss," she said.
A dentist for more than 30 years, Dr. Love is a partner in a general dental practice in Falls Church, Virginia, and lives with her husband, Brad, and son, Connor. The animal lover also has three cats and two dogs.
Read more about Dr. Love's hobbies and plans for SmileCon below as you get to know this year's meeting chair.
Why did you become a dentist?
I became a dentist for many reasons. I truly enjoy taking care of others and helping them with their overall health. Having an important service to offer is another reason, as the link between oral health and overall health is so important.
What are some of your hobbies or passions outside of dentistry?
Animals. I have always surrounded myself with pets from small to large. Promoting ethical treatment of animals is one of my passions. I support many animal rescues and would foster many but know that I would be a foster fail for all. I also enjoy learning about wine and winemaking (and sampling). I love to travel — I always take sunrise photos from wherever we are. I also enjoy gardening and creating different flower combinations each season. I am a huge theater enthusiast too. I love going to shows anywhere.
What is your favorite SmileCon memory?
I love the "surprise and delights." Being in Dental Central during SmileCon 2022 and experiencing the attendees' huge smiles and actual delight with pop-up events made me smile.
Which new features or programming elements excite you most about SmileCon 2023?
There are so many elements of this year's meeting that I am excited about. We are expanding the podcast area, so there are going to be plenty of opportunities for participation with podcasters. The Opening Session will continue to evolve even more in 2023. I know attendees will be amazed by what happens. But we can't tell yet! Dental Central will be unlike any other year. The floor design has changed and will be even easier to navigate to find your favorite exhibitor. Attendees spoke and we listened: The learning experiences have been centralized and will include many new areas, such as the new oral medicine area, as well as other interactive experiences. With the success of the Dental Team Hub in Houston, we are bringing it back with even more for our valued team members. Thursday evening will be SmileCon's Universal Studios night. Everyone will want to be there as we take over Universal Islands of Adventure. Another amazing event not to be missed is the Friday night party. There will be fun activities for all ages.
What makes SmileCon different from other traditional dental meetings? How does it reflect the future of dentistry?
SmileCon strives not only to be a meeting centered around continuing education. While we understand that CE is a large part of why people attend, the other aspects of the meeting — meet and play — are what make it so different. We are creating an experience that will not be forgotten and will impact the dental community in a positive way.
SmileCon registration opens June 7. To learn more or register, visit SmileCon.org.